With a focus on flexibility for all employees, E&Y was keen to support female talent through the maternity transition. The E&Y/Talking Talent partnership began in 2011 and to date over 1,400 of their employees have been referred to Talking Talent for coaching.
After the first year of partnership the total women returning after maternity rose from 80% to 94%. This increase in retention brings an estimated £16.6m saving in attrition costs (E&Y data, 2012).
“I do think EY benefitted from me having this coaching. I honestly think my transition back into the business and up to Director have all been quicker and smoother because of the time spent with Talking Talent. So EY not only got back a fully functioning senior manager in record time but also now have a Director they can leverage in the local market place. I’m sure if you were that way inclined you could put a financial price on the success of it all!” Coachee, Director
With the commercial benefit established, the positive impact is now being seen in the progression of female talent. The partnership continues to grow into 2013.
The Bank’s Diversity & Inclusion council identified retaining female talent as critical to achieving their objective of increasing the number of women in senior positions. It was decided that a development programme at the VP level would increase the support for key female talent and equip them with the tools needed to move into leadership roles in the organisation. They also saw this as a good opportunity to promote networking across all lines of business and improve engagement.
The Bank partnered with Talking Talent to create a female leadership development programme to help women thrive in what has historically always been known as a male-dominated environment. The programme approach comprises a blend between Talking Talent and internal delivery.
Launch Event: This demonstrates senior sponsorship and includes the delegates’ managers to improve buy-in and networking.
As part of the programme, delegates find a mentor (and/or sponsor). Delegates then attend 4 modules, each a day in length, spaced approximately one month apart. 121 coaching has been provided as a bolt on option through the programme. Each module has pre-work and homework. Topics covered include:
Networking, political savvy and influence.
Career planning, work-life balance, delegation.
Close event; delegates present what they have learnt back to all of the managers. It also includes action planning for the future and a celebration networking event.
Our work over the course of 4 years saw 95% of coachees being retained and up to 75% promotion rates in some of the earliest cohorts.
“The development programmes we have run with Talking Talent have created a wonderful platform for our high talent women to develop and progress. We are really excited about how this type of investment in our high potential people makes a real difference to our overall talent pipeline performance.”
EMEA D&I head
When we began working with Viacom Media Networks (VIMN) they were keen to enhance support available for woman transitioning to/from maternity leave, and for the business to gain better understanding of maternity concerns and potential barriers of return to work.
Our programme offers
"Our programme caters to each person's unique challenges during the maternity transition. Feedback shows how valuable participants found sessions"
Within the first year of working together, VIMN saw an improvement in retention rates following maternity.
"Maternity coaching was hugely useful and gave me much needed confidence in making the transition back to work successfully. My performance since maternity wouldn't have been the same without it"
Since 2010, Talking Talent has worked with Novartis to deliver coaching to meet the needs of their key talent. This has taken place across many of their European locations with 1-2-1 coaching of key female talent and group sessions for male and female employees focused around the key transition of parenthood.
One example of our work with Novartis is the group coaching we provide in Switzerland. Here we deliver group coaching sessions, available to all their working parents, and their managers, as part of their aim to make the daily routine of working parents easier and drive the discussion around balancing families and careers. In addition, feedback from the session is influencing policies relating to parental leave. This is part of many Working Parent-orientated initiatives by Novartis, including options for family friendly working hours, childcare facilities and allowances for families with children.
“One of the great things about working with Talking Talent is their ability to fit in with our needs across different offices, different languages and different geographies. Whether it’s one-to-one coaching in Greece, or German speaking sessions in Switzerland, they are always able to deliver.”“We are delighted to be expanding the programme for 2013, it is making a real difference to the performance of our people and the business.”
Valerie Guertler-Doyle, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Switzerland
The success of the programme with Novartis means that 2013 we see the programme expanded still further. Sessions will be delivered in French, German and English covering main sites in Switzerland.
Talking Talent worked with this Magic Circle Law Firm to improve the retention of talented women through best practice support for them at each stage of their maternity transition, enabling coachees to:
Senior and key talented women have a generous maternity transition coaching programme available, flexible to reflect their needs and delivered pre-maternity, during and on return. This included one-to-one coaching for all women at associate level and above.
This client also held Manager Group Sessions for Managers who have or anticipate having women on their team going through the maternity transition. These are one hour sessions, held at departmental meetings.
"I found my coaching sessions immensely positive and productive. I would not hesitate in recommending it to other women in my position. In particular I found the sessions invaluable in helping me to achieve a work/ life balance"
Participant, One-to-one coaching
Within two years of working with Talking Talent, their retention rates (of those who have taken maternity leave and remain in the workplace after 1 year) rose by 144%.
In a partnership spanning three years, we worked with Citi to offer a blended programme of coaching for senior women, managers and new fathers. Through the programme, Citi’s aims were to retain their key talent and to build on their employer brand as a place of choice for women and for parents.
“The success we have experienced through investing in maternity transitions can be shared and replicated with many other organisations, and can make an important contribution to raising the quality of working life for new parents whilst helping businesses succeed.""The Team at Talking Talent have been pivotal in helping us design, develop and deliver our practice. We have benefited from their experience and flexible approach, we have a highly valued working partnership"."
Carolanne Minashi EMEA Head of Talent and Diversity, Citi
The work was delivered is on 3 levels:
High quality feedback was also provided periodically by Talking Talent to help progress talent management and gender diversity agendas.
Through a combination of Citi’s innovative policies and Talking Talent coaching interventions, Citi’s programme received some outstanding results:
The launch of the portal has been strongly supported at the most senior levels and its success is shown by the roll out to over 90 countries within 18 months.
Retaining talented women and increasing rates of progression are a key focus for Unilever. Following an internal global survey, a multi-layer approach was taken, including launching the Talking Talent working parents portal in March 2014. The portal, called MAPS (Maternity And Paternity Support), was chosen as it provides the ability for effective, scalable, affordable support across large geographies.
The portal offers support to employees and managers before, during and after parental leave. Through each stage the user is offered coaching led support through a variety of mediums to allow them to explore and evaluate the key personal factors in ensuring they have a successful parental transition. The portal also provides guidance for those employees thinking of starting a family. By including Managers the portal offers the opportunity for greater consistency in the managerial approach to the parental transition and an improved experience.
Each country has their own bespoke page to personalise the approach and include key HR information. The portal offers support to employees and managers before, during and after parental leave.
The portal was tailored to the needs of Unilever including:
So far, the MAPS portal has over 2700 active users across 90 different countries.
Support before and upon return from parental leave has been strongly utilised. The innovative Celebrate! page has been popular – with families across the world sharing 100’s of baby photos.
40% of senior positions now filled by high performing women, accelerated by Female Leadership Development Programme.
The challenge of female representation at Board level and the progression of women is a well-documented topic. Many businesses are recognising that encouraging and enabling women to thrive is not just good for individuals themselves, but makes sound business sense. M&S is one of those pioneering organisations.
As a company, M&S continues to drive diversity and inclusivity across the business. They strive to maintain at least 30% female directors on the Board and have exceeded this: 36% of their Board is female. In their senior management team, female representation also accounts for 40% globally.
M&S is committed to strengthening the pipeline of senior female executives within the business. Working with Talking Talent, they are making progress towards ensuring that there are no barriers to women succeeding in the business, at every level including the highest levels within M&S.
The programme (which is part of M&S’s broader diversity strategy) began in 2014. M&S chose Talking Talent as their partner for several reasons: their grounded and systemic business outcome approach; their high quality coaching teams; their roots in psychology; and their successful track record in this area.
The programme at M&S is a true coaching programme, not a formulaic ‘one – size -fits-all’ training course. It isn’t about ‘fixing’ women or telling them how to adapt, but rather helping individuals to unlock their strengths and act authentically.
It began with a pilot to assess the value in offering development support specifically targeted at women and the merit of supporting specific female needs. As a result of outstanding feedback, a second cohort was run between July 2015 – Jan 2016 and has continued since.
The business objectives of the programme are to:
The programme is one strand of activity which supports M&S’s strategic objective to create a High Performance culture, defined as “driving business results through a high performance culture where everyone is inspired to be the best they can be”.
The programme is made up of four one hour one-to-one and six group coaching sessions over a six month period, and topics include:
Individual goals arising out of the programme are tied to career development plans. Additionally, each individual is also tasked with coaching each other in between modules to hone their coaching skills and support the coaching and inclusive culture they wish to maintain. Engagement and integration of line managers as key stakeholders in the process has ensured that development is robust and sustainable, and has been key to the programme’s success.
The programme has helped M&S deliver their strategy of having 40% of senior positions filled by high performing women. This is a significant shift in their data; through focussing on the female talent pipeline their senior leadership population in the UK has moved from 29% female to 43% female over the last 2 years. Additionally all non-executive director long lists in 2014/15 included 50% female candidates. M&S have also been listed in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2016 for the 6th consecutive year.
The programme has also had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the individuals. It has unlocked a passion, ambition and drive in them that some didn’t even know they had. The programme learnings have genuinely stuck and been actively used by participants – many said that the programme has driven them to make genuine changes at work; more so than any other learning intervention they have experienced. Individuals are more confident and focussed on achieving their ambitions, have new tools to give onward support to their own teams and are fired up to get involved and drive organisational change.
Line managers have actively commented on a change in their team members. They have also felt a personal impact; particularly male line managers have remarked that they had no idea of the barriers women face and had no concept of how differently women feel and behave in the workplace.
By raising the debate M&S have increased the focus on female talent and have influenced increased emphasis on reviewing the gender data and active plans for developing senior women.
“Two of my team have been delegates on this programme; I’ve been amazed at how their confidence has grown and this has translated into a tangible improvement in their delivery and how they work with others. The programme has been integral to our goal to drive a high performance culture where everyone is supported to reach their potential. It has also contributed to increased activity around gender diversity across our office population – I’m delighted that this is positively reflected in the numbers of women at the most senior levels of our business”.
Sarah Findlater, Head of Organisational Development
“The programme and coaching facilitated by Sallyann Weston-Scales is aimed at unlocking potential. The experience has been incredibly empowering and has given me a stronger peer network and raised awareness of my personal strengths and drivers. It has honed my career visioning for the future and has provided me with a toolkit of skills and techniques to support me in navigating my journey.
The combination of group learning and discussion combined with 1:1 coaching has accelerated my learning process and the involvement of Line Managers and key Stakeholders has made the programme feel extremely integrated and sustainable”.
Participant, Leadership Development Manager
My experience with Talking Talent over the last eight months has been invaluable and exceeded all expectations. My coach delivered everything I anticipated and more. Areas examined over the sessions were extensive dealing with issues ranging from leadership skills, team restructuring, management styles and more importantly time management skills both personally and professionally enabling me to once again enjoy a good work/life balance. The skills and coping strategies I have learnt in my time with Talking Talent have changed my entire outlook on what success looks like.Director, Financial Services
One of the great things about working with Talking Talent is their ability to fit in with our needs across different offices, different languages and different geographies. Whether it’s one-to-one coaching in Greece, or German speaking sessions in Switzerland, they are always able to deliver. We are delighted to be expanding the programme for 2013, it is making a real difference to the performance of our people and the business.Valerie Guertler-Doyle, Head of D&I, Switzerland, Novartis
I would say it’s an absolute life saver. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but I can’t tell you how brilliant the whole experience has been. Even from the very first session when we did the wheel of life and part of my homework was to re-join the gym... it has been so incredibly useful.Director, Professional Services Firm
Citi are delighted to have been recognised with Innovation Award by Opportunity Now. We believe that the success and impact that we have experienced through investing in Maternity transitions can be shared and replicated with many other organisations, and can make an important contribution to raising the quality of working life for new parents whilst helping businesses succeed. The Team at Talking Talent have been pivotal in helping us design, develop and deliver our practice. We have benefited from their experience and flexible approach, we have a highly valued working partnership.Carolanne Minashi, EMEA Head of Talent and Diversity, Citigroup
We are an innovative coaching and consulting company, helping our clients to attract, retain and maximise the potential of their talented women.