Learn More About Me
Passionate Coaching Professional
I am a professionally certified coach who supports leaders, especially women, to make courageous change happen in their life and work. I love digging into conversations, finding the truth and releasing the extra-ordinary potential of people. I ask silly questions, collect interesting answers and use them to open what's possible for you and your business.
A Longer Story About Me
Why do I do this?
I grew up in London, amongst a large loving family, with the opportunity to do anything. By 27 years old I'd achieved all the conventional measures of a "very successful" life. I was well travelled, had a great job, a nice apartment, lovely boyfriend. Until then my only failure had been my driving test (twice). But then one night in 2006, I failed to resuscitate my close friend, Tim. He died of a rare heart condition, on the floor, at my feet. I learned a painful lesson on the true value of life that night.
Life is short. Too short to waste. His life still inspires me to live fully awake in my skin, every day, including today.
After a difficult year of anxiety related issues, I switched from a corporate environment to an entrepreneurial business. I put my sales and marketing skills behind ethical brands, and took time out for unique adventures along the way. I successfully climbed the ladder into increasingly Senior roles and I loved my work. I was employed by a great company, they recognised my contribution and wanted to keep me, but I once I had children I found that I could not get promoted as a part-time employee. I felt forced to choose between my work and family values.
I looked around for advice and found that every mother I knew was struggling with the same question, “How can I be a connected parent and have a meaningful career?” It was 2013, and at that time working fathers seemed almost oblivious to the challenge. The wider narrative was asking, “How can women have it all?” which made me want to scream, “I don’t want it all! I just want to be a happy human, who enjoys working, like men do!” Now the world has changed, we all understand more about what it takes to be happy and earn a living and have kids.
At that time we had 2 children within 2 years. After several years maternity leave and working part-time I knew parenting more than 3 days a week made me miserable. It still does to be honest, but we lost that choice in the COVID years so it's less difficult for me now. But then I wanted to work for money, recognition and personal pride. I love working on creative projects, I crave intelligent conversation, and I insatiably make new things happen. I did not want to “give up” and stay at home, but I could not "lean in" at work any more than I was. I was deeply stuck.
The energy of trying to be the perfect working mother exhausted me, I felt permanently stressed and anxious about everything. When I miscarried twice in 2015 I decided it couldn't go on, I'd been in this dark hole before. I had to take hold of my choices and lead my life in a way which worked for me.
Every inspirational professional woman I met seemed to have made choices that didn't suit me, and most of the wonderful mothers I saw had sacrificed their professional positions more than I was willing to. I couldn’t find any role models with answers, so I began to research the solutions for myself.
It became obvious that the opportunities for working parents were (and still are) decades behind where they need to be. It's not just about women, it's about helping whole families to thrive from this generation onwards. In 2013, as I sat Googling gender equality reports with one hand, and spoon-feeding vegetable puree into my daughter's mouth with the other, I found the data which broke my heart. At a gender level, women's careers do not recover from having children. We're not there yet, true equality is still a dream. In that moment I promised her, “I will not let this happen for you." Not on my watch. In that moment, at my kitchen table, I committed my working life to making working life different for my children. What I know now, is that men need these changes too; at least the one I'm married to does. We do it as best we can, together and separately.
In 2014 I recruited the help of a coach. She brought me back to life in my own skin. I discovered the passion and purpose I wanted as a working parent, and she helped me to make choices to intentionally direct my life towards what I wanted. I invited my husband to join me on the adventure and we re-shaped how we saw our responsibilities. In 2015 I quit my brilliant job, left my incredible UK friends and family, relocated our two young children to America and started a consultancy business. I began writing a novel, trained as a women’s leadership coach and grew a third child for our family.
And here I am. Still doing my best. We now live back in the UK as a family of 5, and we continue to try to thrive.
I am still on that indirect, imperfect journey in service of women’s growth and my own. I don't think every one needs to leave the corporate world to overcome our current challenges (like I did). Quite the opposite. I'd like to help leaders in business change their environment so it supports them - at work and at home. Because I know now that when we lead with how we need it to be everyone benefits. How we do that is unique to each of us.
It's a responsibility and a freedom to realise that every choice has an impact on life - mine, my family, my work and our world. My working life at the moment is no easier than it was when I lived inside the corporate workplace, but my life is my own to play with, which makes it a lot more fun and deeply satisfying.
My hope is that by seeing my husband and I make choices that balance across the whole of our lives, our 3 children will learn how to do it for themselves. In our house we share our dreams, acknowledge our problems, talk about our emotions and try to split our responsibilities as equally as possible. Most days it works, some days it doesn't. Creating time for myself, my husband, our kids, our work and our relationship is all part of life. I know the challenges involved in making a whole family happy, whilst also paying the bills.
When I’m not talking to brilliant women or engaging with my children, I continue my personal development. Some days I do yoga, or meditate. I enjoy large mugs of tea with marmalade on toast. I dance like a giraffe or sing loudly in my kitchen. I love finding new things to think about because I’m not great at small talk. I'm terrible at cooking and housework. If you're lucky you’ll find me hiking in the forest, camping with my kids or on a new adventure.
So that's why I do this.