Shortlisted in The Learning Awards!

I love to keep one foot in employment so that I have a real and lived understanding of the challenges faced by your best female talent.

Back in March, I started a part-time fixed term contract at Macmillan Cancer Support. I joined the Volunteering L&D team to work on a project to design and develop digital induction training for their amazing volunteers.

Less than two weeks later the whole nation went into lockdown and Macmillan was faced with the challenge of converting their face to face emotional support volunteering to a remote offer, almost overnight.

I worked with the very lovely Kathryn Palmer-Skillings and colleagues across the charity to create new learning content, repurpose training materials and create a new digital learning programme for Macmillan’s Telephone Buddy Scheme that was ready to be used within a week.

It wasn’t the project I expected to be working on … but oh my goodness what an incredible experience.

I was part of an amazing team and we all worked really hard. As a result our volunteers were able to support more than 2,000 people living with cancer, in part because of the learning that we created.

Just imagine our delight this week when we heard we’d been shortlisted for the Learning & Performance Institute Learning Awards in the Digital Learning Transformation of the Year.

So exciting … now the long wait until February to find out the winner.

How to support staff going through redundancy

It makes good business sense to offer as much support as you can to employees going through redundancy, including offering outplacement support.

But it’s also important to support the staff who are not leaving. They are likely to be feeling a mixture of upset, guilt, relief, anger and grief.

Outplacement support helps the staff being made redundant as well as those who are staying:

  • Protects your brand
  • Increases employee engagement
  • Minimises potential litigation
  • Manage a smooth transition

A good outplacement plan will help staff to:

  • Get clarity on their career strengths and experiences
  • Leverage their personal brand
  • Develop a career plan moving forward
  • Identify networking opportunities
  • Navigate the online job market
  • Create a powerful LinkedIn profile
  • Discover how to write and tailor CVs and covering letters
  • Prepare effectively for job interviews, including video interviews

When I run outplacement workshops for organisations we explore:

  • Skills and strengths
  • Values – i.e. what’s most important to you
  • Mindset
  • Behaviour profiling
  • Presentation i.e. LinkedIn profile and CV
  • Interview preparation
  • Networking confidence
  • Action plan

What’s most rewarding is watching the group work together to support and lift each other. For example, often we don’t recognise our own strengths. Sometimes we take a talent for granted because it feels so easy.

When you run an outplacement workshop, individuals get constructive feedback from peers and former co-workers and this can be a huge boost to morale and confidence.

What outplacement support do you offer staff going through redundancy?

What the UK tech sector is doing to attract and retain female talent

According to the Office of National Statistics, in the UK, women account for just 17% of workers in the tech sector.

This drops even more when you look at specific roles e.g. the proportion of women working as system designers and IT business analysts is 14% and only women make up only 13% of programmers and software developers.

During the Brexit debate, many argued that the UK’s growing reputation as a viable technology leader would help to safeguard the nation’s economy in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU.

Last year the UK tech sector experienced a record-breaking 12 months from the perspective of investment.

And the government announced that around 1.2 million new technical and digitally skilled workers will need to be hired by 2022 to support the huge growth of this sector.

Yet … the percentage of women in tech roles remains low, for a whole range of reasons.

And that’s before we even get started on discussing the gender pay gap.

What are you doing in your organisation to attract and retain women in technology roles?

Here are some ideas that other organisations include in their strategy:

  • Offering coaching with either an external or internal coach
  • Running a women in tech network
  • Gender neutral recruitment
  • Launching a women’s returner programme
  • Blind hiring
  • Creation of policies designed to appeal to women and/or mothers
  • Promoting an inclusive work culture
  • Setting quotas when working with external recruitment agencies
  • Hosting graduate careers events aimed at female STEM students

I’d love to hear from you as to what’s worked successfully in your organisation. And also what hasn’t.

Please contact me direct via email or telephone or use the contact form here if you’d like to discuss how your organisation can:

  • Support your female talent with strategies to drive motivation, improve engagement and increase retention.
  • Educate your leaders and managers to help keep your female talent motivated, engaged and prevent the loss of valuable people.
  • Introduce strategies to better attract and retain female talent, improve gender equality, reduce the pay gap and promote an inclusive environment.

New Year, new career?

If your current mantra is New Year, New Career, you’ll love my series of Career Conversations starting on Monday 6 January 2020.

When you’re job hunting or thinking about getting started with the job search, it’s really helpful to hear the real stories and challenges that other women dealt with.

It’s good to know you’re not the only one with fears, worries and doubts.

It’s even better to know that you CAN deal with those challenges.

My Career Conversations series is a sample of what to expect when you join the Career Club online membership community.

To join the Career Conversations (for free), come and join us in the Career Conversations Facebook group.

p.s. who else do you know who’s job hunting or thinking about it? please do share the news about my live 2020 Career Conversations

The job I always wanted

Never let go of your dreams.

On Saturday 16 November I was elected as NCT President. It’s a role I’ve been thinking about and dreaming about for many years.

It finally came true. It wasn’t a straight line from “Yes I want this role” to “Yes I have this role“. There have been many twists and turns. I first ran in 2015 and was unsuccessful that year.

However I truly believed I could be a good President. And I absolutely believe in this charity and what we do.

My husband has joked for years that I’m NCT to my bones.

Which goes to prove that when you really want something, keep going.

Stay strong.

Be determined.

Brush yourself down and pick yourself up when things don’t go the way you want the first, second or third time ….

Take on board the learnings then try, try, and try again.

The LinkedIn Kickstart

Sign up to join the Priority waitlist <<HERE>>.

The LinkedIn Kickstart is for you if you want to

  • create a powerful LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed
  • make a bigger impact at work and take your career to the next level
  • understand what employers or potential clients expect to see on your profile
  • develop your expert authority to showcase your experience and achievements
  • build strong relationships and network without being pushy
  • enhance your personal and professional brand

You’ll get 12 modules – each with a short video and a worksheet with a bite-sized task (plus a ‘when you’ve got more time‘ extension task too).

You’ll get invited to a private Facebook group where you can share your thoughts, ask questions, get feedback and be inspired.

In the meantime I’ll add you to The Confidence Guide which is published weekly, jam-packed with tips and tricks for ambitious women who want clarity and confidence. And we’ll talk again when we get started.

Click <<HERE>> if you want to get noticed on LinkedIn today!

If you know already that you want more personalised help than I can offer in a group programme, or you want to get started right away, a one-to-one personalised LinkedIn Profile review could be what you’re looking for.

Ready to get started?  Join the priority list today so you don’t miss a thing when the next live round starts.

I can’t wait to share my knowledge and insights with you and hopefully you’ll learn to love LinkedIn as much as I do.

Take a proper break – it’s good for your career

Loved the final article that appeared in City AM on Friday 10 February.

Taking a proper break is essential – for your health and for your business performance.

It’s not about how long and how often you are in the office. It’s about the quality of the work that you do when you are there.

You might also be interested in the video blog that I recorded with Dr Christian Jessen and Geoff Rolls on the same topic of taking a break.

Watch it HERE.

Leadership Confidence

As some of you know, I am a big believer in the power of masterminds and peer groups. When you bring like-minded women together, magic happens and the result is always bigger than the sum of the parts. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

That’s why I’m putting together a 6 month Leadership Confidence programme. I have seen THE perfect venue for the retreat bit by the sea. It’s gorgeous – amazing food, the rooms are incredible, it has an underground grotto & spa pool. Free sherry & gin in your room! (That’s the bit that sold me!!)

I’m so excited and I just want to launch it NOW and not wait for all the fancy pants marketing pieces. It will be limited to an absolute max 8 women. If you’re interested (or you somebody who might be), let’s talk so you don’t miss out on the 40% off special deal I’m offering to the first 4 who sign up.

Let’s talk if this sounds like something that will benefit you. Book your call here.

In last week’s post, I shared with you important information that every parent needs to know: how we parent our children affects their emotional life and behaviour.

I explained how being an emotionally responsive parent helps your child to establish effective stress-regulating systems to take them through to adulthood. Knowing this, you adopt your style of parenting so that you nurture your child’s brain and body to manage stress in adult life.

When we respond to our children in certain ways, this gives your child’s brain opportunities to establish the pathways needed so that your child can:

  • manage their emotions
  • think rationally undress pressure
  • self-calm without recourse to angry outbursts or anxiety attacks. In later life, the adult who is not able to self-calm may resort to alcohol, smoking or drugs.

More modern research and knowledge provides the evidence to confirm that our parenting styles can affect a child’s

  • curiosity and drive
  • ability to explore and embrace life
  • creativity
  • develop deep and lasting friendships

And don’t we all want this for our child?

Our parenting has a major impact on a child’s emotional life on a long-term basis because how you raise and respond to your child during the brain’s developing years determines which part of the brain is activated most.  Let me try to explain, in layman’s terms, some of the neuroscience behind this. The caveat being that I am not a neuroscientist myself.

The human brain is made up of distinct parts:

  • the brain stem or core reptilian brain
  • the limbic system or mammalian or emotional brain
  • the midbrain
  • the cortex or higher human brain, the thinking logical brain

The brain parts are connected by a network of nerves which all have their own special function.

During the brain’s development in the first five years of life, millions of brain connections are formed, unformed and reformed. Our experiences literally ‘sculpt’ our brains. This ‘sculpting’ activity is known to slow down around the age of 7.  The child’s brain development is affected by how you listen, how you play, how you cuddle, how you comfort, how you respond when are angry etc. As you respond to your child, the brain connections are made – the wiring is formed. When a baby is born, the more primitive reptilian brain is in control. The higher human brain (the thinking brain) is undeveloped at birth which is why the young child can be so easily overwhelmed by emotions and primitive responses. This is not your child ‘being naughty’ or ‘manipulating’ you. This is your child trying to cope. When a child experiences feelings such as fear, sadness or anger, this activates the lower part of the brain.

This means that the developing brain in the early years is very vulnerable to stress. However when the young child is in a stressful situation, if the parent is emotionally responsive, inside the brain, the relevant neural pathways develop so that the child is able to manage stressful situations. The more often this happens, the stronger the connections and the stress-regulating systems become more effective.


The Confident Mother conference starts in January

I’m getting very excited now about the amazing speakers who are agreeing to be interviewed for The Confident Mother online conference in January.

We are going to be covering a wide range of topics from your employment rights when you are pregnant or on maternity leave to ideas for starting your own business; how to boost your productivity to helping your children to manage their emotions.

I’d love you to join me – you can sign up here.