Women Returner Coaching

We can partner you to design and deliver a programme that supports the development of your female talent pipeline. It may be women transitioning back to work after maternity or a career break.

Taking maternity leave and returning to work is a major challenge for any woman. The Women Returner Coaching Programme is designed to support executives through this transition and to help them to set up a successful return to work. The organisation benefits from a smooth, well-managed transition.

The individual coaching sessions are designed to give the executive an opportunity to explore how the transition will impact her and what she can do to successfully manage that impact. The coaching helps her proactively manage business issues and plan for an efficient and effective transition.

We schedule confidential one-to-one coaching sessions (of up to 2 hrs duration) to work through the issues presented by her career break and return. The programme runs for 3-4 sessions depending on the requirements of the individual. Typically one or two sessions before her break from work, one a few weeks before she returns and one after her return. Between sessions we maintain telephone/email contact to work through any issues if they arise.

The Programme

The exact content of each coaching programme differs as it is tailored to the particular needs of the individual. The sessions are run either by myself or my colleague Elizabeth Newton Whyatt (www.newtonwhyatt.com). We are both highly experienced and accredited executive coaches and have both held senior leadership positions in the private sector and returned from maternity leave.

Each executive is guided through the key stages of:

  • Preparing for the break
  • Minimising the impact on the business
  • Delegating effectively to ensure a smooth handover
  • Keeping current during time away
  • Planning and setting expectations for return
  • Creating networks and support systems
  • Establishing career expectations and goals
  • Building a productive relationship with her manager
  • Rebuilding confidence
  • Working flexibly
  • Building support systems
  • Maintaining personal balance

Women Returners Research report published Nov 2016 by PwC:

  • 550,000 professional women in UK are on extended career breaks for caring reasons
  • 420,000 want to return at some point
  • 2/3 (280,000) could be working below their potential when they return

The UK Women’s Business Council report (June 2013) recommended that “Business should do more to help mothers when returning to work, including effective return to work procedures, work experience for mothers taking career breaks and talent management schemes.”

I found my sessions with Debbie to be immensely valuable. She helped me to significantly boost my confidence and self-belief by identifying my strengths as a leader and showing how these were endorsed by the people I worked most closely with. In addition, she helped me to identify my areas for development and equipped me with practical actions I could take to put these into practice. I feel that I am in a very different place as I prepare to return to work after my maternity leave – I am confident in my own abilities and I feel empowered to push the organisation harder to help me achieve my personal objectives.“
Global Communications Director