The value of doing my bit
The summer holiday season is a great time for self reflection. I am also a massive believer that as responsible citizens we should all find our way of ‘doing our bit’ to help others to grow. However, it is very common for a lot of us to get stuck in the self narrative that our individual contribution can’t make that much of a difference, so why bother! I too, can at times struggle with that narrative so I thought I would share what I have done in the past 9 months and how much it has helped others to grow as well as myself.
To give some context, prior to setting up 2to3days I used to be a business and executive coach. In October last year my wonderful colleague, Benvon Crumpler suggested that once a month I give a day of my time to coach women from the 2to3days community. I said ‘yes’ having no idea of the uptake or what would come of it.
Fast Forward to today and I have coached 30 women and this day is genuinely the best day of my month. The women are based across the UK, at different stages of their careers, some working full time, some part time and some wanting to reignite their careers. What they all have in common is a shed load of experience (and I am talking a big shed!) a lot motivation and ambition to pursue their careers working flexibly in a whole variety of industry sectors and disciplines.
I share this with you not in the spirit of ‘hey look at me’, far from it (that would make my toes curl) but instead hopefully to act as a catalyst and encourage you to also reflect this summer on the ‘bit’ you can do to help women in your organization and/or personal network to accelerate or reignite their careers. As I have said before, ‘A workplace that works for women, works for EVERYONE!’
Investing my time in these sessions has been invaluable to me in ways that I couldn’t have known. I have reconnected and used previous skills and knowledge and some of the women are now supporting 2to3days to grow as a business. I have connected women directly to companies who want to hire them as well as connecting some of my coachees with one another so that they can go on to support each other in a work capacity.
Here are just a couple of the many wonderful testimonials that I have received.
“Within an hour of meeting Juliet for the first time, I came away with a much clearer plan for the next few months. More importantly, I left the call feeling happier and motivated to take my next steps. Juliet didn’t waste a second and kept me on my toes! But she did so with incredible thoughtfulness and understanding, alongside deep and active listening. Juliet’s a great coach, and 2to3days continues to inspire that change is possible.”
I can't thank Juliet enough for her coaching time. Within just an hour I had gotten so much from Juliet's experience, advice, thoughtful and respectful coaching techniques and most of all, the motivation, clarity and energy that I felt afterwards. I highly recommend Juliet's coaching and 2to3 days and everything it stands for - your voice, Juliet, is much needed to make the workplace better for women. Thank you for everything you're doing.
They have grown and I have grown too. It’s a win win.
Here are three key ways that you can champion women and their careers.
Sponsorship is a more formal type of support that involves someone advocating for or promoting the career development of another person. Sponsors are often in positions of influence and can use their power and resources to help the person they are sponsoring advance in their career. Sponsorship can be particularly important for women, who may face barriers to advancement and may not have the same access to opportunities as their male counterparts.
Mentoring is a professional relationship in which an employee in a senior position provides guidance, support, and advice to a less experienced colleague, often in the same field or industry. A mentor can help a mentee develop new skills, gain knowledge and insights, and make connections in their field. Mentoring can also provide emotional support and encouragement, which can be particularly important for women who may face challenges or discrimination in their careers.
A sponsor and/or mentor should naturally do this as part of their role but I have separated it out because it’s important not to underestimate the value of making the right introductions from your network. It might be introducing someone who is looking to reignite their career after a break to someone in your network about a potential job, or simply to gain a deeper understanding of your industry's particular market dynamics and insights.