An outstretched hand with a text label which says Coaching
Events

(How) is gender relevant to coaching?

I’m delighted to be offering a workshop for the Assocation for Coaching’s Edinburgh Coaching Exchange on 26th February. I’ll be asking participants to explore gender assumptions and stereotypes, unconscious bias and how to counter these in their coaching practice. To book, click here. If you’re intested in this topic or in hosting a similar event for your coaching/HR professionals, get in touch!

large lily pads on water giving impression of stepping stones
Thoughts

Career change beyond the Academy

I was pleased to contribute a blog post on my career change story for my former university, University of Sheffield. They run a fantastic blog series on careers beyond the academy for post PhD students. It can be hard to know how to transfer your skills and what use value a PhD has in the wider world. The v i s t a blog helps people see what’s possible through live examples! Check out my contribution here.

Read more about my thoughts on leaving academia and feeling ‘free’ here.

Events

Righting Wrongs for Women in Academia

In September 2018, I was pleased to offer a workshop at the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association  Annual conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Writing Wrongs’ and I offered a session riffing on this theme entitled ‘Righting Wrongs for Women in Academia’. The workshop was a space to share strategies, experiences and thoughts on how to shift academic organisational culture, where 1 in 4 professors are women and where BME women are particularly underrepresented.

Events

Coaching Taster workshop

 

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Institute of Fundraising conference, September 2018

At the Institute of Fundraising conference, 2018, I delivered a ‘Coaching Taster’ workshop, based on a ‘skills share’ approach.

I introduced participants to some basic coaching principles and models and then asked them to pair up to be coach and coachees with one another to test out their new skills!

The participants were fantastic and the room was ‘buzzy’ as they supported one another through some work-related issues. One participant stated she may even have found new career through the process!

It was a pleasure working with charity fundraisers who devote so much of their time to working for their charities and to allow them to spend little time on themselves.

 

Thoughts

Chance encounters

Chance Encounter 1

Earlier this year, I contacted NEBIC (North East Business and Innovation Centre) to find out about their EU-funded Boost your Business course. The BIC support people to start and to grow their businesses.

While I was meeting with one of their advisors, having spotted my line of work their HR officer came to have a chat with me about the possibility of running a workshop for their staff. The BIC are currently running a series of events on wellbeing and so I created a workshop for them, ‘Being an LGBT Ally’, which looked at supporting LGBT+ people to be themselves in the workplace. Given the BIC’s client-facing work, the workshop also focused on how the environment might ‘speak to’ LGBT+ customers.

Simple things like having visible role models, some images on the website or wearing rainbow lanyards can have a big impact on whether a person feels included. They are ‘quiet’ ways of letting a person know that they are welcome, either as a member of staff or as a client. In turn, these enhance wellbeing and sense of belonging. And of course, hosting a workshop was an excellent step on that journey to becoming an inclusive organisation.

This chance encounter resulted in a mutually beneficial arrangement – some awareness raising for staff and some business for me (the BIC clearly take the ‘Boost your Business’ ethos to heart!!)

Chance Encounter 2

A second chance encounter that emerged from my dealings with the NEBIC was when I attended the Boost your Business course itself. This is three-day residential course which gives people the opportunity to focus on their business ideas as well as providing an opportunity to network with others in similar situations.

Having arrived at the hotel for the course, my first encounter of the morning was with a fellow participant who, when I introduced myself and my work, asked me what ‘LGBT’ was. I confess I was a bit taken aback at the time and it made me reflect that I do make assumptions that people know what those letters mean. I had further pause for thought as a second person later in the day asked me the same question.

While I’m not about to alter my business cards (have had too many printed, for a start), it has made me think more about how I introduce myself and also introduce the workshops I deliver, which always entail elements of terminology but I now make that aspect more ‘up-front’.

Learning for me always involves challenging established ways of thinking. Having my own thinking challenged has helped raise my awareness and made me take less for granted.