1:1 coaching for parental returners and their managers to improve retention and pipeline progression
Engineering Consultancy Partnership
An engineering and technology company wanted to create a best-practice experience for parental returners through coaching for parents and their managers
Research by Catalyst found that people
are three times more likely to report that their workplace feels inclusive if they have empathetic leaders.
57% of female engineers leave the sector by the age of 45, compared
to 17% of male engineers
(Royal Academy of Engineering)
All pregnant employees are offered six 1:1 coaching sessions through their parental transition, each lasting up to 90 minutes. Their managers are also given 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 because she was looking for a solution to improve gender inclusion and balance in this predominantly male organisation, which has ca. 750 employees of whom approximately 80% are male.
The programme needed to upskill managers in empathy and competence, so they were able to confidently and consistently support pregnant team members and new parents. The firm wanted to support new mums in their career development, so that they were able to go on to take senior roles, to reduce the 30% gender pay gap.
We partnered to devise an intensive 1:1 coaching programme to support parental returners from pregnancy 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 so successful, it was permanently continued and embedded, as a key part of the gender inclusion strategy.
What the Client Says
In their feedback, managers said their sessions were very worthwhile. The coaching reassured them about what they were doing well and highlighted blindspots for them to work on, such as involving colleagues, confidence issues and barriers in place that were preventing successful re-integration.
Parents said the sessions gave them space to think, crystallise their thoughts and plan for their return. The coaching enabled them 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 and without being judged.
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