Parental Coaching programme

1:1 coaching for parental returners and their managers to improve retention and gender balance

Family in the Park

Working with Frazer Nash Consultancy

Frazer Nash Consultancy, a leading systems and engineering technology company, wanted to create a best-practice experience for parental returners through offering coaching to expectant and new parents and their managers

The Programme

Pregnant and returning employees are offered six 1:1 coaching sessions through their parental transition, each lasting up to 90 minutes. Their managers are also offered 1:1 sessions to use as and when required. The coaching is bespoke – adapted to suit the individual’s particular need.



The HR Director approached Emma Waltham because the organisation values gender inclusion and recognises that the New Parent transition can be a pinch point in employee’s careers, particularly for females in male-dominated sectors like engineering. Frazer Nash Consultancy has ca. 1000 employees of whom approximately 80% are male.

The programme wanted to give managers the opportunity to develop their empathy and competence, so they can confidently and consistently support pregnant team members and new parents. The firm wanted to support new parents in their career development, so that they want to continue their careers at Frazer-Nash Consultancy and progress into senior roles. 

We partnered to devise an intensive 1:1 coaching programme to support parental returners from planning their leave, through to the return to work. Alongside sessions for parents, we offered their managers intensive 1:1 sessions, which they could access when they needed assistance.



The firm was delighted with the impact of the coaching programme, receiving good feedback from both parents and their managers. Parents felt more positive and greatly valued the investment the company was making in them. Managers were vocal with peers about the value of the sessions.  The business was also able to benefit from organizational learnings, due to the themes emerging during the coaching programmes.

The initial 1-year pilot to trial the programme with three returners was continued, being operationally embedded as a key part of the gender inclusion strategy.


What the Client Says

In their feedback, managers said their sessions were very worthwhile: "Emma reassured me that I am planning and interacting in the right way with my colleague. I appreciated that the session wasn't leading, but instead Emma made suggestions about what might be good practice. I really enjoyed the coaching, and it was very valuable."

The coaching for managers reassured them where they were doing well and highlighted any blind spots, such as how returners may feel a dip in confidence. 
Parents said the sessions gave them space to think, crystallise their thoughts and plan for their return. The coaching enabled them to make best use of their keep in touch days and decide on a working pattern that would enable a successful return and help them continue their career development. The coachees appreciated being able to talk freely, in confidence, without feeling judged.


Valerie Hardie, New Parents Champion at Frazer Nash Consultancy says: “The coaching has been an excellent return on investment. We had great feedback from participants, and we can really see the value. Providing coaching helps with wellbeing and participants have been promoted while going through the programme.”

Start a conversation with Emma Waltham on how we will keep your talented women in your talent pipeline after maternity, increase gender diversity at senior levels and reduce your gender pay gap