Join us on International Women’s Day

Friday 8th March marks International Women’s Day.

We’re making the most of the incredible range of events at the Southbank Centre with a She Leads Change trip to the Women of the World festival.

Why not join us, for any or all of it?

12.30pm: lunch at Le Pain Quotidien on the Southbank

2-5.30pm: WOW: What now? (please book your own ticket via the Southbank Centre)

5.30-8pm: Music & drinks in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer – we’ll be to the left of the stage area

8pm onwards: Informal continuation of the evening with dinner and drinks

Please drop Laura an email if you would like to join us. We look forward to seeing you on International Women’s Day.

#IWD2019 Debate – 7th March

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we’re excited to share with you an event taking place in London on Thursday 7th March asking the question: “Does Flexible Working Reinforce Gender Stereotypes?”

Come along in support of #internationalwomensday, and hear a stimulating, thought-provoking debate on one of the hot topics of the 21st Century workplace. The prestigious panel debating the question includes:

• Dr Carole Easton OBE – Chief Executive of the Young Women’s Trust (Chair)

• Asif Sadiq MBE – Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at The Telegraph

• Harini Iyengar – Discrimination and Equality Lawyer and Spokesperson for the Women’s Equality Trust

• Tara Leathers – Deputy CEO at The Prince’s Trust

• Will McDonald – Group Sustainability & Policy Director at Aviva plc (job-share) and Chair of the Fatherhood Institute (part of the most senior all-male job share in the UK).

All proceeds from the event will be going to Young Women’s Trust – supporting and disadvantaged women age 16-30 struggling to live on little or no pay. To book tickets via Eventbrite, please click here.

International Women’s Day Debate – Gender Stereotypes in the Workplace Thursday 7 March – 6.30-8.30pm – City of London School for Girls, EC2Y 8BB
#womensday #genderstereotypes #change #sheleadschange

12 Months of She Leads Change


Just over a year ago we had a series of requests for coaching, from these came the idea for a curated programme of peer-led support.. that has led to a growing community of connected, confident changemakers.


Radical generosity is a core value of She Leads Change.

“I’d like to thank you all for your kindness – at every touchpoint of the programme there is a brilliant, caring, intelligent, passionate woman who genuinely cares about your journey; who wants to help you plant those seeds because she knows that once you start doing so you’re going to grow something amazing…because she believes in you.” – SLC participant


In our first year, we’ve had more than 50 brilliant, brave, beautiful women on She Leads Change, supported by 45 coaches from all over the world, 3 great facilitators and a dedicated core team. We’ve witnessed transformation and growth – both personal and professional. We’ve seen people step up into positions of increased responsibility, change their work culture, take on new challenges and be braver, more confident and more purposeful.

“I’m much clearer about my purpose and far more confident about living it.” – SLC participant


This is not one story, it is OUR story and we give a very special thanks to Antonia, Steph and Jo who were there at the beginning and have given so much of their unique gifts to co-create She Leads Change. We are also grateful to our incredible group of facilitators, coaches and advisors – you give us confidence to do the work and make the change possible.


She Leads Change provides a supportive and safe space in which to undertake self-exploration with help from others.

“…spending time with women you would otherwise never cross the paths of, who bring entirely new perspectives and experiences to your life while sharing a powerful journey together is something truly valuable and rewarding.” – SLC participant.


This idea underpins all of our work together. People don’t only join – they create together. We are excited at the way our SLC community has grown: gathering on a regular basis to support, encourage and empower one another. If you’re passionate about leading change and want to invest with us into the future of She Leads Change, let us know what you can offer – what you’d like to co-create – we’d love to hear from you.

“I’d like to lead change for millions, and I think I can – but not alone” – SLC participant


We have heard how participants have greater appetite to step into opportunities, rather than waiting on the sidelines until ‘ready’; how they are less afraid to get out there and be their best selves.

“I’m now more confident to step up, to hold a room. I’m more aware (and sure) of my strengths, and where I want to spend my (emotional) energy. I feel more content with myself and what I have to offer to the world.”


Who do you know, who could do with a dose of brave?

Could you introduce us to your corporate, friend, colleague, family member you feel would benefit from our transformative leadership programme?

Do you have someone in mind, you could sponsor? We have started a sponsorship programme to ensure we have the type of diverse group to create transformation at scale.


The companies that some of the participants are from have contacted us to send more people. They have seen big changes and have joined our journey.

“I am more aware of my strengths, of my relationships and of my own journey. How I have been shaped and of how I want to shape my own future. I feel more influential and more central to my own story, and know more about my values.” – SLC participant


We are launching a community of women co-creating and enabling change in the world. Curious? Get in touch if you’d like to join the movement.

“It really has helped me show up differently. There hasn’t been a a big a-ha moment, but a wonderful journey where I’ve discovered so much more about myself, how I’m being, and how I want to be.” – current SLC participant.


It’s a space for self discovery and to take some time out for yourself.

“…and to realise that everyone is going through a certain amount of the same issues and challenges as you, makes you feel less alone.” – SLC participant


If you are a woman working to create positive impact, the world needs you to be your most powerful self, to operate from a place of confidence and abundance.

“You encouraged a room full of women from a variety of backgrounds and at different places in their lives to dig deep, stare at our wounds, own our fears, and grow…we have been opened and exposed and now with the knowledge that we are enough, we go forward because we lead change.” – SLC participant

Find out more and apply here. Or say if you would like to speak to us about a programme for your company or have any great ideas for how we could work together!

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World – maybe?

We love these thoughts from Dene Stuart, founder of the Thinking Revolution:

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, Maybe!

The song It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, co-written by Betty Jean Newsome, was released by James Brown in 1966. Written to emphasize both the differences that existed for the two sexes back then, but also the fundamental need and value of both sexes not just for life but for society. (if you’re not familiar with the song you can hear it HERE.)

And the question is: What has really changed?

As I am a man writing this you might think that I am not the best placed to answer that question but I’m going to argue that, in fact I am. I undoubtedly benefitted from being a man in the career I chose. Selling advertising for the Daily Mirror, at a time when the newspaper world was the epitome of misogyny, was not for the faint hearted, either male or female.

There were some women who succeeded in that environment because in any environment there will always be some who have the determination and single mindedness to do so but they were rare, and they didn’t make it into the boardroom. Not an unusual picture back then or now.

But here’s the thing. To succeed in that environment as a man you still had to play by the rules of the game.

If you were a man and you bought into the game, were good at it and played by the rules you could succeed. But if you tried to break that pattern then success was not going to be forthcoming. The guardians of the game made sure of that.

The irony was that my understanding of this principle, was given to me by a woman who had succeeded in this man’s world. Christine Walker established Walker Media in the 1990’s and it rapidly became the largest media buying agency in the UK. For some reason Christine took a shine to me, as the executive responsible for maintaining the business relationship between Mirror Group and them, and her words to me in one of our meetings still ring in my ears.

“Dene what you have to remember is that it’s a game for consenting adults!”

The game stopped for me when I could no longer accept and play by the rules of the game. It didn’t matter that I was a man. I couldn’t play the game any more and the opportunities dried up. The issue is not that it’s a man’s world but that it is a world of unwritten rules. The question that everyone faces at some point is:

Do you want to play the game of your life by someone else’s rules? And that applies whether you are a man or a woman. Then there’s the question that comes next. How do you create the life you want, living by the rules you want?

This is where I believe the tide is turning and what I see, is women stepping up and forward and creating the change they want to see. I run my own, and go to a lot of, personal development seminars and there is a clear pattern in my experience.

When it comes to personal development, the audiences are predominantly women and I think the reason is that the vast majority of men still view the need for personal development as a sign of weakness.

They are very happy to enrol in classes they can define as professional development but put the word personal in and they run a mile. It will take time but if this pattern continues there will be a shift in the power base and by the time men notice it will be too late. Because what I know to be true and so apparently do most women, is that personal skills trump professional skills in every way, when it comes to getting the results in life that you really want.

Not least because you can automate professional skills, but personal skills will always remain just that.

Maybe the big hit of 2066 will be It’s Woman’s World.

Dene Stuart – Founder of Thinking Revolution an The Exceptional Leader University

How do you create the life you want, living by the rules you want? Applications now open for our March programme of She Leads Change: apply here

…I found my voice, and I was heard…

We’re almost at the end of our final SLC programme for 2018 – registrations are now open for our new course starting in March next year.  One of our current participants, the wonderfully brave, brilliant and beautiful Mel, offered to share a little of her recent experience on our She Leads Change leadership programme.

“I am now half way through the She Leads Change programme. When I started I did not know what to expect and I felt that unsure and in truth vulnerable, because after all I knew very little about what I was stepping into, yes I did check out the website, but as with so many things you have to do it to really experience it.

On arriving on the first session I found a room full of woman all with their own stories to tell and I really felt that mine was not one to be heard. When we had to do the introductions, I waited and waited until all 29 other people had spoken and I knew that the people either side of me knew I hadn’t spoken, but I felt that I had nothing to say comparison to some of the other ladies in the room. But with a deep breath I found my voice and I was heard.

Over the weeks I think it would be fair to say we have had many highs, revelations and tears. This has been made possible by the strict code of practice which means that nothing discussed leaves the walls of the sessions meaning that we all can feel safe in addressing issues, fears and working on ways to overcome the barriers we have erected in our lives.

I am about to start with my coach[every person has four coaching sessions included in the programme] and decided that after going through various experiences on the course that I would embrace whatever presented itself no matter how painful or exposing it might be.

I am committed and in so doing I have challenged myself and I have and I am being brave.

My coach in the preliminary session asked me to do three things before we started our first session and one of them was to ask friends, family and colleagues: How they saw me. I have to be honest I was scared, what would people say? But then I thought that it would be a great place to start, because how we think of ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world can sometimes be chasms apart.

Thank you to all the people who completed the questionnaire and for your honesty. I now stand in my truth I feel great, why? Because I jumped right in and was prepared to be totally vulnerable and uncovered and going forward I genuinely believe that this has been one of the best learning experiences I have ever had and my purpose is so much clearer. I have been given a glimpse of the future and the path I can follow safe in the knowledge I am making a difference and a change, so world here I come…”

melanie williams browne picture

Please sign up here, to register for our new programme launching February 2019.

“I’d like to lead change for millions and I think I can do it – but not alone”

One of the most powerful quotes to come out of our She Leads Change programme in April, was from a participant who shared: “I’d like to lead change for millions and I think I can do it – but not alone”

She Leads Change is a community built on peer-mentoring – it’s at the very heart of what we do. Guidance from experienced women, is an invaluable source of support for our participants, particularly from individuals outside their immediate remit, who’ve demonstrated resilience against a similar set of challenges.

It takes courage and vulnerability to open up to others, sharing where we are at, where we are going and our struggles along the way, yet by doing so, we are able to empower one another: either through stories of how we succeeded (or failed), suggest alternative perspectives, or offer access to resources and networks otherwise not available…

Brene Brown, says vulnerability is “our most accurate measurement of courage… and is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

Peer mentoring a powerful exchange: being vulnerable and sharing with others not only paves new ways of thinking – by allowing us to better manage our internal narratives – it also strengthens our ability to actively listen, ask clarifying questions and present offers of solution or opportunities to change. We asked Becky – a current She Leads Change participant – to share her recent experience of peer mentorship:

“Sharing my challenge with the group was really useful. It made me realise that the questions I was framing in relation to changing jobs, were not the real obstacles at all.

Many of the ways forward suggested by the group were excellent, a good number of them I had already done; others I had thought about doing, but hadn’t got further – asking myself why, was insightful. They challenged me on the real nature of the problem. Was it fear holding me back rather than connections? Were the excuses a barrier, or a truth?

I realised practical issues about changing my career were not my obstacles, it was fear, and the feeling I was no longer good enough.

[My] real questions should have been “How can I build my confidence and have faith in my ability to cope with a more demanding career again?” and “What strategies can I use to know that I am good enough?”

The knowledge that I was going to be asked to “report back” on what I had taken forward, gave me a kick-start into “doing” something to change my circumstances. A really useful first step, was to use the question: “Who do I know right now, that I want to speak to about this?”

In the fortnight since the session, I’ve asked a friend in HR to check over my CV, arranged lunch with an acquaintance who has a job in an area I would like to work in and got back in touch with someone at an environmental NGO where I used to volunteer! They may be small steps but it’s a start on the path to change!”

Interested in finding our more about our She Leads Change programme?  Join us for an open session on Monday 26th November at the Orient Capital Building in London from 5.30pm – 8.30pm – sign up here.  Registration is imperative as spaces are limited!

Live Illustration of our September 2018 open session of She Leads Change, by artist Jenny Leonard (

Connection, creativity and co-creation – in appreciation of an SLC open session

On a beautiful Monday evening, deep in the city of London, our She Leads Change participants, coaches, and interested friends came together to connect and learn from each other.

Rosanda Mcgrath, Nadine Exter, Melissa Abecassis and Jo Matthews showed us how powerful vulnerability can be. Their words on authentic leadership, finding purpose, empathy and emotional labour – are profound and will continue to echo in our hearts and shape our own lives.

Jenny Leonard ( and Ellie and Zoie from the Shadow Travellers ( brought creativity and magic. They reminded us of the power of creativity. laughter and play.

At the end everyone there answered “what it is they took away from the session”. Below are the answers:

  • Power of Friendship
  • Self-reflection
  • Showing up
  • Deep listening
  • Vulnerability
  • Stepping up
  • Embrace power
  • Restorative power of laughter
  • Why you want what you want
  • Love for stories
  • Beautiful music in you
  • Power of co-creating
  • Gratitude
  • Being human is perfect enough
  • Power of coincidence
  • Be in the moment
  • Take time to tell stories
  • Reminder of the collective
  • The wonder of imagination
  • Thrive for purpose does not have to be difficult
  • Community is key
  • Music
  • I am not so weird at all
  • Life puts you in the right place at the right time
  • Don’t control empathy but command
  • Purpose is fluid
  • I love stories
  • Create beauty for its own sake
  • Just be
  • Life in cycles, knowing when it’s over, finish, start again
  • Purpose can be small and grand
  • Importance of places
  • Recognise creativity
  • To be wrong
  • To be challenged
  • Embrace difference
  • Realised how much SLC has changed me
  • Openness
  • Let go of wanting to be right
  • Be aware of your emotional labour
  • Learned so much
  • Inspired by bravery
  • Importance of serving leadership
  • Power of friendship
  • Each of us has something wonderful. When you remember to feel it, life and perseverance so much better
  • Easier to deeply listen than respond
  • Think what you want before you want it
  • You can make beautiful music even if you think you can’t sing
  • Surprise, engage
  • Good to take stock
  • Mindfulness
  • Take time to tell more stories to kids

Thank you everyone! Our next open session is on Monday 26th November from 5.30 pm at Orient Capital. We do hope you can join.

For more on She Leads Change and to enquire about a programme, please look here.




Weathering life’s hardest knocks

“I can be changed by what happens to me.  But I refuse to be reduced by it” Maya Angelou

Our 4th She Leads Change session on resilience was made all the more powerful by the contribution of our expert speaker, Alister Scott. He shared on resilience, how to be present, appreciate life and perceive what is important, as we navigate the course set before us.

Alister brings his skills to bear supporting catalysts and their teams to achieve change.

His book, ‘The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen’ is available at all good booksellers, or via this link here, where you’ll also find audio extracts and a link to buy directly from the publisher.  (Discount orders of 10 or more copies receive a 30% discount…could you order more, and pay it forward?)

You can also find his short note on resilience from the book, mentioned at the end of this video, on the enabling catalysts website.

Know you want to work on your own resilience, amongst other things? Apply now to be part of the next She Leads Change cohorts, starting 3rd and 4th September 2018.

Celebrating change-makers everywhere on Nelson Mandela’s birthday!

Congratulations to our community for the phenomenal change they are making…

If you had 100 minutes to make a change, what would you do?

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

Build the foundations within yourself to create the change you want to see in the world, with courage and confidence.

Join our four-month peer-mentoring programme for purpose-driven women: a support collective building confidence, resilience and forming powerful connections. She Leads Change amplifies and accelerates the positive social impact women are making in the world. Apply now for September start: