Making a difference – having a social impact through coaching and mentoring

It’s always been an important part of Women to Work’s ethos that the business makes a difference to both individual women and organisations with coaching and mentoring at the core of what they do.

Women to Work was born out of conversations about how frustrated we felt that so much of the talent that women could offer wasn’t being fully utilised, all this untapped potential that was being missed often because women were struggling to juggle work and home lives and also because workplaces weren’t offering enough flexible work at all levels for women, and we wanted to see how we could help.” Said Jenny Pollock, Women to Work’s co-founder.

“We wanted to support women to feel empowered, more positive and able to achieve their goals and we wanted to support organisations to be better places to work for women” adds Emma Shute, Women to Work’s co-founder.

Since those early conversations Women to Work has been working with both individual women and organisations using a range of coaching and mentoring approaches to have a positive impact on both individual’s work and lives and organisational culture.

“Alongside our work with organisations we are so proud to be able to offer free workshops and affordable one to one coaching for women who might not normally have access. We found from our early experience with Women to Work that women wouldn’t prioritise themselves enough to invest money in their own personal development, and we wanted to make sure we could offer something for all women.” Said Jenny. “Our free Work Life Discovery Coaching Workshops in association with Sheffield Business & Intellectual Property Centre run several times a year at Sheffield Central Library and our one to one coaching for individuals starts from only £51 a session.”

“This gives more and more women access to tools to help them define and create their ideal working life. It puts women in a position to make choices that are right for them, it aims to support them to have the confidence to put themselves forward or have conversations with their workplaces about their roles or working patterns, or even to set up their own businesses.” Said Emma. “Whilst we haven’t changed the whole world of work for women we believe in the power of everyone doing their bit and if we, and others, keep doing our bit we hope over time the impact will show.”

Their work in organisations aims to have a positive impact too, for example they are currently delivering a “Successfully Managing Your Work Life” programme and a mentoring training programme for Women in the Fire Service. These two programmes are offered to women in fire and rescue services across the UK giving support and development to the women who are such an important part of our communities.

Another project Women to Work is involved with and they hope will have a social impact, is a research piece with Professor Penny Dick from Sheffield University Management School to look at women’s careers and how “career” is seen by women in the UK.  Penny is working in collaboration with Women to Work and has attended three of their Work Life Discovery Coaching Workshops at Sheffield Central Library in order to observe the activities and conversations of the attendees, and is in the process of conducting individual interviews with women who have attended the workshops. The research study will take place during 2019 and once this is completed and the information has been analysed, the results will be shared in the form of scholarly articles and more accessible user-friendly articles which will be made publicly available via Professor Dick’s web page and Women to Work’s website. There will also be a one-day workshop at the end of the study intended to stimulate discussion of the policy implications of the study. Local employers, government policy makers and other relevant stakeholders will be invited, as well as some of the women who participated in the study.

“We are delighted that the project is underway and look forward to seeing the results of the research and how this might impact women in the workplace in the future. Watch this space!” said Jenny.


You can read more about the research project here.

You can read more about our regular free Work Life Discovery Coaching Workshops in association with Sheffield Business & Intellectual Property Centre at Sheffield Central Library.

You can read more about our affordable one to one coaching for individuals here.

You can read more about Women in the Fire Service here.