About TWN

Established in 1996, Training for Women Network (TWN) is Northern Ireland's leading network for the promotion of women's training and development, through policy, training, networking and education.

Since then, TWN has provided resources within the community to empower women across the public and voluntary sectors, the trade unions, education and training in taking a more active and informed role within a changing Northern Ireland requiring new capacity, knowledge, skills and experience.

TWN is a first stop shop for women in Northern Ireland seeking information on training, development and entrepreneurship.

It is one of the largest networks in Northern Ireland with a membership that exceeds 300 members.

The majority of TWN's activities encourage women from disadvantaged and minority groupings to look at opportunities for advancement in a variety of ways.

TWN is dedicated to supporting and nurturing social enterprises and sees that entrepreneurial activity is not exclusively a profit making-taking business.

Many of the key workers within the social economy in N.I. have entrepreneurial spirit and TWN is keen to encompass the social economy within its activities that support and encourage an entrepreneurial culture.


To act as the lead non-government organisation for the promotion, development, co-ordination and delivery of high quality women's training and development throughout Northern Ireland.


To support develop and empower women of all ages, religion, sexuality and ethnic minority background to realise their full potential.


  • Promote, develop and co-ordinate the provision of high quality vocational and prevocational education and training for women leading to sustainable employment and the empowerment of individuals and groups.

  • Promote good practice in training for women.

  • Promote, develop and co-ordinate the provision of high quality training designed to advance Peace and Reconciliation, ‘Good Relations’ and Equality of Opportunity.

  • Facilitate vertical and horizontal integration of women into the labour market.

  • Encourage women to take up leadership roles and become involved in decision making and public life.


  • Quality

  • Sustainable Activity

  • Value for Money

  • Fairness and Equality of Opportunity

  • Partnerships

  • Member Focussed

  • Innovation

  • Transparency, Openness and Accessibility

Awards and recognition

NGO in Special Consultative Status

with the Economic and Social Council since 2012 (United Nations)

Innovation & Excellence Awards 2019

Entrepreneurial Training Provider of the Year

The Northern Ireland Women’s Award 2019

  • Woman of Influence – Highly Commended – Norma Shearer

  • CEO of the Year – Finalist

CO3 Leadership Awards 2018

Trustee of the Year – Shortlisted – Dr Margaret Baumann

Global CEO Excellence 2018 Awards

Specialist Training CEO of the Year 2018 & Award for Excellence in Female - Empowerment Initiatives – Norma Shearer

2018 Northern Ireland Business Awards

Best Women’s Training & Development Network

Age-Friendly Belfast 2018 Older Volunteer Recognition Award

Older Volunteer Recognition Award – Nominated Older Volunteer of the Year Finalist – Dr Margaret Baumann

Investors in People

Silver Accreditation 2015-2018

Focus: The Identity Trust Transgender Champion 2014

Community/Voluntary Organisation