Demographics within the UK workplace are changing rapidly: with so many women working, it is essential that organisations take steps to retain this talent in order to avoid expensive replacement costs. We have heard the terms “work-life balance” and “flexible working” ad nauseum over the past decade or more.
Maternity coaching has exploded in response to the brain drain of professional women who have simply “given up” trying to combine a career with raising a family. Savvy CEOs recognise that talent retention is a key issue rather than a trendy phrase and women with children are a growing part of that talent pool. ONS statistics of September 2013 showed that 72% of women with children were in work. My own survey across more than one thousand professional women with children back in 2007 revealed that 20% of respondents who had given up work cited their reason as “trying to juggle home and work was too difficult”.
If you are representing an organisation that really understands that it is people that grow a company’s profits, you will know that it’s overly simplistic to assume that all women want is a flexible working pattern or extended maternity leave.
Women are being told to “lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg. Some women choose not to have kids. Some have both childcare and elder care responsibilities.
Women want job satisfaction and acknowledgement that they are doing great work. They want self-belief to go for promotion and they want the confidence to speak up assertively in the board room.
More women want power than flexibility, according to a very recent poll at London Business School’s annual Women in Business Conference on 13th March 2015,
Just 14% felt that a benchmark of success would be a better work-life balance; 44% wanted job satisfaction, while 34% wanted to be able to define their company’s direction and leadership. Power takes precedence over time, it would seem.
And all of this is not news to me! The female clients I work with want to maximise their potential in their careers first and foremost. Of course, they also want to know how to “balance it all” and they’d love the holy grail of having more hours in the day! But ultimately, they are ambitious, bright women who understand that contribution, making a difference and achievements that require them to stretch outside their comfort zone are central to living purposefully.
In order to achieve their potential, women need support that acknowledges each of them as individuals and allows them to explore their challenges, hopes and fears without having to “keep up appearances”. Furthermore, whilst men and women share similar issues and challenges, women particularly benefit from a forum that allows them to explore in a safe environment.
Having coached hundreds of men and women in leadership positions over the past 13+ years, my approach is to connect with my clients in a way that is both personal and practical.
My workshops, webinars and coaching programmes cut through the rhetoric of conventional training and get to the heart of your, and your employees’, concerns and needs. In my experience people learn best in creative learning spaces where trust prevails and individuals are given the opportunity to apply new learning direct to the problems and challenges that apply most to them. In order to facilitate this I strive to make our work together engaging, effective and relevant.
If you are reading this page, you are probably in an HR/L&D/Diversity and Inclusion/People Development role. Or you might be reading this as the Chair of your organisation’s Women’s Career or Business Network. You might be looking for a Leadership Coach to support a mid to senior level executive, or you might be looking for a great speaker for one of your lunchtime learning events.
Whichever “hat” you are wearing as you read this, you can learn about my coaching approach here, discover my keynotes here and read a few of my testimonials here. You may also want to check out verified testimonials on my Linked In profile here.
If you like what you read, then the next step is simply to call me! As my work involves connecting with people, the best way for us to explore working together is to have a conversation.
You can reach me on the following numbers: +44 (0)1829 752004 and +44 (0)7739 692989. If you get my voicemail, please leave your name and best contact number so that I can return your call as soon as I’m free.