In the run-up to International Women's Day on Sunday, Claire Gallery-Strong, who has stepped down as chair of the Cumbria branch of Women in Nuclear, looks back on her tenure.

Women in Nuclear is a national organisation set up to address the equality balance in the nuclear industry and encourage the next generation working in the sector.

Claire, who is head of enterprise portfolio development at Sellafield Ltd, says: "I didn’t realise I would be a trailblazer, it all seemed the right thing to do.

"In March 2018, WiN Cumbria launched full of ambitions to make a difference.

"Our members asked for support in skills, provide a safe networking environment, access to mentors and showcase inspirational role models.

"We wrapped around this the need to put the topic of gender balance out there in our regional industry.

I never imagined how impactful we could be.

"Since we started we have provided access to over 20 skills events, set off two mentoring programmes supporting more than 40 people and hosted seven inspirational events.

"Our work has been recognised regionally, nationally and internationally with awards taking our members on the global stage recognising their contribution.

"Most recently, one of our committee has been named a global shaker in the field of science.

"I have a volunteer team of 10 people, men and women, a range of ages and background who are all passionate about making a difference.

"Today we can proudly say we have made a difference and will continue with our plans.

"Our #openthedoor programme to include early and mid-career women in events they would not otherwise access has been given national recognition.

"It is now embedded as a key component in a government-led national programme to address the 40 per cent nuclear sector target of females in our industry. It won't stop there.

"The team carries on to break new ground.

"From the big stuff to the little – at the end of this it is all about our women. Seeing others succeed and changing the face of our industry is a huge reward."