Julia is a Graduate from my Leap into HR Consulting Bootcamp. She has worked in a number of industries but for the last 14 years she has worked in the public sector. As well as being an HR consultant, she currently still works part time as head of HR for an HR shared service.
I asked Julia ....
Why did you decide to move into consulting?
I have been within the same sector for a long time as it has been a fantastic opportunity to grow my career whilst being flexible enough to manage family life as well.
I’ve spoken recently about gender inequality in business. In order to make changes we need to look more deeply into some of the reasons why it happens - and importantly, what we can do to change it.
Female self doubt is one of these reasons.
Self doubt can happen to anyone, but across my 25 years of business coaching I’ve seen it more in women than in men.
Self doubt happens to women in full-time employment and to those branching out into entrepreneurship.
Self doubt happens at any stage in our careers; it happens to those building a business and to those already running a successful businesses.
Women have made incredible progress in the world of work. By the end of 2019 the UK female employment rate was up to 72% - a record high. We’re making waves in middle management. We’re a stronger presence than ever before. So why does self doubt still linger?
There’s a confidence gap.
This matters because a confidence gap leads to a lack of females putting themselves out there. In a study by Hewlett-Packard, it was found that women would only put themselves forward for a promotion if they believed they were 100% suitable. Men would do so with a 60% belief in their suitability. Inevitably, this lead to more men vying for the top spaces - and more men being offered them in return.
What can we do about this confidence gap?
There are a few ways we can overcome this.
Believe in our abilities:
Firstly, we women need to believe our abilities in the same way that men do. This means, even if we don’t believe ourselves to be 100% ready for that promotion, or 100% ready to make the leap into entrepreneurship - we need to do it anyway. We need to make the leap and give it all we’ve got.
Build confidence ‘on the go’:
They say ‘there’s no time like the present’. To us this means not waiting until you feel confident enough to do something, but jumping in and finding your confidence on the way. After all, this is what many of our male counterparts have been doing all along. Do you want to Leap into Consulting™ but are not sure if you’re ready? Our advice is to do it - but do it with a plan. Building businesses is our speciality, and we’d love to help you on your journey. Book a 90 minute call with me now to kick start your journey.
Creating a structure:
Successful business owners - whether male or female - are not there by accident. A huge part of reaching the top is knowing how to plan your growth. Here at Leap into Consulting™, this is one of our strengths. We’ve shown countless new businesses how to get from A to B. We’ve also shown established businesses how to get from B to C through Z. Join us on one of our webinars or book a call with me to make the first steps towards successfully structuring your business.
Women helping women:
There’s a shortcoming of women mentoring other women, in part related to that confidence gap; if you don’t feel confident in your own abilities you may wonder what you have to offer to others. But women mentoring women is successful. We know what makes us tick, we appreciate the realities of being a women in business, we understand the gender inequalities that all too often hinder our progression. Women helping women can build bridges to success.
As a self-made female entrepreneur, I understand the issues faced by women. The pitfalls, our difficulties and our downfalls. But I also understand where our strengths lie, and how to harness them. Whether you’re just starting to Leap into Consulting™ or you want to take your income up a grade, book a 90 minute call with me to begin your self-confidence journey, and to reach new heights.
One of the frustrating things about being a women in business is seeing male counterparts around you - left, right and centre - getting promoted before you, or being offered a higher pay check for the same role you’re doing.
Corporates try to deny it happens and in today’s world are more accountable than ever before for making sure it doesn’t happen. But the reality is, it does.
Did you know just 5 of the CEOs in the FTSE 100 are female?
When we women decide to speak up for ourselves in the workplace, our valid statements, questions and concerns are often batted back at us.
You’ve all seen this example:
On asking why pay checks differ, or why men are more likely to be a CEO of a large company, we’re told:
- Men negotiate harder, they ask for more so they get given more.
Firstly, this is not always true. Women can be some of the best negotiators around; it’s just that our requests are often not taken seriously.
And secondly, is it any surprise that on occasions we decide to back-off from negotiations or from male-dominated spaces when we’re collectively and constantly told ‘no’. ‘No you can’t have the salary increase’, ‘no you didn’t make CEO’.
It’s really no surprise that we sometimes start to believe it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. What we need to do as women, collectively, is to start believing in ourselves. In our ability, in our worth and in our value.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think about it, if we had been consistently told since we were 20 that ‘yes we will give you a pay rise’, and ‘yes you are worthy of that promotion’ - then of course we’d all believe it.
But - hard as it may be - we need to believe it anyway. And we need to make others believe it about themselves too.
I’ve recently been announced as one of the finalists in the Successful Women in Business Awards, founded by Gill Donnell MBE.
While I’m always honoured to be nominated and become a finalist for business awards, this one means more to me than many.
Because the award I’m up for via the Successful Women in Business is the ‘Reinvention Award’.
This means a lot to me as I’ve worked hard to be where I am today, and it hasn’t always been a linear journey. I’ve seen my fair share of crisis times; the current Coronavirus crisis and subsequent financial crisis is just the latest.
Indeed, over the last few months I’ve had to pivot my business from face-to-face bootcamps and coaching sessions to bootcamps that are run entirely via a virtual platform. Getting an entire course up online in a matter of days is no easy feat, believe me.
More than this though is the reinvention of the way in which I run my sessions today. Until a few months ago I was working with people who actively wanted to make the Leap into Consulting™, But now with furloughs, job losses and general insecurity in the workplace, many of the people I work with are not considering making the leap out of pure choice. Many have no other choice.
Of course, when the circumstances of my clients are changing, the way I deliver coaching must too.
As I’ve been through similar crisis myself a few times in my 25 year consulting career, I know how to work with my new set of clients and how to deliver what they need, in order to help them leap back into success.
You could say my entire business model for the last few months has been about reinvention; for both myself and my clients.
I’m proud I’ve been able to do so, and I’m proud of my clients who are doing the same.
So to be a finalist in the ‘Reinvention Award’ means more to me than many may realise.
Thank you for the nominations, for recognising me as a finalist, and for the many opportunities I’ve been presented with that have allowed me to be where I am today.