Meet the Royal Welsh soldier hoping to inspire more women to join the British Army

Representation of women in the UK's armed forces is still low across the board, including in Welsh regiments, and efforts are being made to change that.

The UK's armed forces moved to open up all roles to women in the past six years.

On a special trip to Poland, where Royal Welsh soldiers are among those on NATO's biggest military exercise in a generation, we spoke with Lance Corporal Sian Beynon, who joined the army two yeas ago.

She told ITV Cymru Wales: "I always wanted to join, but specifically the infantry because when I went to be recruited they said females don't really do that.

"It gives you motivation to prove a point and prove them wrong."

She's one of just three women in the Royal Welsh regiment, but she's hopeful others can be inspired to join.

"It's a start, it's not enough really, but hopefully in the next few years people start pushing through and coming into the roles."

She is among those taking part in Operation Steadfast Defender, which has involved more than 30 NATO countries working together, making it the organisation's largest military exercise since the Cold War.

Major Simon Davies says stereotypes about the armed forces sometimes stop women from signing up.

He said: "I think when people see what we do and some of the myths gradually dissipate, we'll have more females wishing to join.

"I think it's seen as being a very tough job, and it can be challenging. I think it's seen as being male only, and traditionally people think infantry is something not for them, but I think that again as we have more and more female soldiers come through they'll see examples and people they can follow."

But it's not only infantry roles that are available. Lance Corporal Meg Aspara is a mechanic attached to the infantry for this exercise.

"I just wanted something new," she said. "I wanted to be different. I wanted to go home and say I'm in the army but I do this.

"Having a purpose and having something to put towards things, like being able to fix a gun is unreal, if you cant fix it it doesn't work and you've got nothing to protect yourself with, it's monumental."

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