The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have. You can learn to be confident which is necessary to reach for opportunities…
Under-Representation of Women Leaders
Of the 195 independent countries in the world, only 17 are led by women.1 Women hold just 22% of seats in parliaments globally.2 In the United Kingdom, about 23.5% of seats in Parliament are held by women.3 In the European Parliament, 35% of the seats are held by women.4
None of these figures are close to an equal representation of 50%.
The percentage of women in leadership roles is even lower in the corporate wold: A meagre 5% of the S&P 500 CEOs are women.5 Throughout Europe, women hold 20% of board seats.6 In the United Kingdom, women hold only 21% of senior executive positions and 23.5% of board seats among the FTSE 100 companies. As of 2015, there are only five women CEOs among the FTSE 100 companies and nine women CEOs among the FTSE 250 companies.7
Gender Pay Gap
Women working full-time earn less, on average, than men in all major occupation groups
The gender pay gap is the difference between men and women’s average earnings.
In the United Kingdom, the gender pay gap is 9.1% per hour for full-time employees, or £1.32 per hour, with women earning less than men in every occupation group (even those where women outnumber men).
Women hold nearly half (45%) of full-time “professional occupations” – including scientists, engineers and health professionals – yet their hourly earnings are 11% lower, on average, than men.
Meanwhile, men are more likely than women to work in highly paid occupations, like managers, directors and senior officials, where women earn 16% less per hour on average. Men also hugely outnumber women in skilled trades: jobs like farmers, mechanics, electricians and chefs. In this occupation group, there is a larger pay gap (25%) in favour of men.
Difference between proportions of men and women in full-time employment, and gender pay gap per hour, by occupation group
Coaching for Women Leaders
In addition to the external barriers erected by society, women are hindered by barriers that exist within themselves. Women hold themselves back by lacking self-confidence, self-belief and a feeling of self-worth, by not raising their hands, and by pulling back when they should be leaning in. They internalize the negative messages they hear throughout their lives – the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. They lower their expectations of what they can achieve.
Getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to gaining power. They are rarely discussed and often underplayed. However, considering the impact they have on women’s lives and careers, they deserve a lot more attention. Our internal barriers only survive because we keep them alive. They are under our own control, and so it our choice to address them so that they no longer hold us back. APower 3 have been coaching and mentoring women leaders from different industries and sectors with great success!
Corporate clients include: Raytheon, LPA Group Plc, Cobb Europe, University of East Anglia, University of East London.
Tips for Women Leaders
- Decide in which area you want to get more confident first. Focus on the chosen area and the steps you need to take to build your confidence.
- Set yourself intentions and stick to them.
- Be flexible and open to feedback.
- Release unwanted thoughts.
- Practice gratitude.
- Be kind to yourself and others, and don’t mistake kindness for weakness.
- Get a coach who will help you to become more confident & resilient, unlock your full potential and increase your feeling of self-worth and self-belief.
- In addition to working with a professional coach, do not underestimate the power of being connected to other women with similar challenges relating to life, career and leadership. Research, join and attend regularly relevant events & networking groups.
- You may consider joining or setting up one of the popular Lean In Circles, which evolve around the empowerment of women in the workplace. They are linked to https://leanin.org/ and have evolved from the 2013 bestseller ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead’ by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
Find out more about
DISC Personality Profiling
Understanding what makes some people ‘tick’ can be a mystery for so many leaders, managers and team members. Acquiring this ability can therefore mean the difference between success and failure.
In business it is often said that your ‘front line’ (people) has a massive impact on your ‘bottom line’ (results). This means that understanding how to manage, motivate and maximize the performance of your people is vital.
What people say…
Personal Fulfilment: "There are masses of people calling themselves 'life coaches'. In an unregulated field it can be very hard knowing who to trust and who to work with. I can highly recommend Sonja. She is the real deal. I spent an hour with Sonja and in that time that she correctly identified my motivations, my blue print and how and why I was holding back. She asked all the right questions, getting me to reflect on my 'why' and what I need to do to make the right changes."
Growth Mindset: "Sonja is an outstanding coach with all the right tools to help you strengthen & cultivate a growth mindset and foster a more positive attitude to success! Highly recommended!"
Major Decisions: "Sonja has an incredible presence and a way of getting you to open up, to dig deeper than perhaps you would normally go in seeking what you're really thinking and feeling. She is highly experienced, relatable, calm, professional and makes you feel at ease. I would readily go back to Sonja again when I'm stuck with something, or looking for clarity, direction and support with any major decisions."
Personal Growth: "Sonja is a very professional and knowledgeable coach. She is a great person to discuss ideas with and can provide valuable insights that help with personal reflection. Sonja is personable and solution orientated which makes her a great person to work with."
Understanding People & Influencing Outcomes: "I'm really grateful that Sonja helped me to uncover areas of my personality and behaviour that I would have never otherwise understood – this will help me a lot in my job, and also in my personal life. Sonja is very clear and gives you lots of examples on how Personality Profiling helps you to understand and influence people much better."
Confidence & Resilience: "Sonja made me feel very comfortable in each session and I was able to openly share my thoughts. Sonja helped me believe that I can achieve anything I set my mind to and that my potential is tremendous. Our coaching sessions focused on improving my confidence in particular situations where I have struggled in the past, addressing and dealing with my limiting self-beliefs which tended to hold me back and on building my resilience using some simple and effective techniques. We explored the use of tools such as Mindfulness and Emotional Freedom Technique which I can practice myself and enjoy ongoing benefits. When I reflect on the desired achievements I set out at the start of our journey together, I am very proud of being able to say that I have fully achieved all my objectives. Sonja helped me to stay focused, make sense of my own thoughts and internal conflicts and ultimately achieve what I always knew I could achieve myself."
Career & Confidence: "Sonja Kirschner is a brilliant coach, with a very versatile skill set and a flexible approach to dealing with client's needs. I found her coaching highly professional throughout while maintaining the sensitivity to go 'off script' where it was necessary. My sessions with her helped me discover values of true importance for my career (planning) and increased my confidence in pursuing my goals."
Business, Leadership & Self-Empowerment: "Working with Sonja has been a joy. I first started working with Sonja when I was at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. She has been invaluable in a few ways: 1. Providing a sounding board for ideas, 2. Encouraging me to verbalise the things at the back of my mind and address them head on, 3. Providing a point of accountability when I didn't have anyone else to report to, 4. Prompting me to self reflect in a way I wouldn't have done before. Sonja was stoic, calm, receptive, attentive, good company, flexible, helpful, warm and thoughtful in her approach 🙂 I'd encourage you to get in touch with Sonja if things are going well, if things aren't going well, if you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling like you have too many people around or whenever. Through Sonja's work, I believe anyone can improve themselves just a little, and maybe a lot too."
Confidence & Resilience: "I recently attended a women in leadership Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) event at which Sonja Kirschner was the guest speaker. I found Sonja's session impactful to me as an individual the content resonated, as I'm sure it did with other women who attended. In particular the 'success cycle' which I have personally used since attending - I now start and end my day with positive thoughts, allowing myself a moment to engage with my inner self and believe in myself. The second element that I have implemented has been the 'power pose' - initially during Sonja's speech I was sceptical but putting it into practice during the session and since it really works. I would thoroughly recommend booking Sonja for future events and having 1:1 sessions with her."
Empowerment of Women Leaders: "Sonja supported a first time local event in Cambridge for the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association [HBA]. She quickly understood what we needed and she led a great session, engaged the audience well. She shared some nice theory and then a number of practical tips. She gave plenty of time for questions which made it personal for the individual's needs. She was clear, and made it fun and interesting. Thank you Sonja - would certainly recommend to others. "
Career: "I had a fantastic coach. With her help, my circumstances are completely changed. I am 6 weeks into a new job that I thought would be a far away dream, I am more confident in my professional life and I have improved my personal life. I would recommend APower 3 to anyone who would like to give coaching a try. They are clearly very dedicated to it and find genuine pleasure in helping people in this way."
Confidence & Relationships: "I can honestly say my coaching sessions and guidance has helped me through what I would describe as the most challenging and confusing part of my life. My coach's style left me feeling able to openly converse with her and I never felt judged or criticised for anything we discussed. My coach has given some invaluable support and access to tools such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and good life habits that has maintained my continuing progress and given me a true sense of direction in my life. The coaching has exceeded all expectations I had of what could be achieved through life coaching – I achieved my objectives and in the progress have gained so much more."
Phobia: "APower 3 helped me enormously with a phobia I have. My coach's calm approach has enabled me to benefit from the NLP sessions I had with her. I feel my life has been transformed because I do not worry or feel as panicked by the triggers of my phobia. Last December I was able to join colleagues on an international business trip. My NLP sessions helped me board that plane and have one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. I was able to be part of the team and participate in the activities whilst I was in Arizona. I could not have done this without my coach's help and patience. She is a true professional and knows exactly how to help those with triggers that cause panic. I cannot thank her enough for helping me work through my issues and to enable me to eventuality find the freedom to live my life."
Long Term Ambitions: "Sonja is a fantastic coach, she really gets to the crux of the situation. She has a no nonsense approach and you feel very supported throughout the process. I now feel empowered and ready to embrace my life long ambitions as Sonja has given me the tools and the self-belief to drive these forward by helping me realise what was holding me back. I will be eternally grateful for this."
Public Speaking: "Sonja helped me with my presentation and public speaking skills. She was very professional and her coaching style made it very easy for me to open up which made it a very pleasant experience. We identified a limiting belief that was blocking me and she helped me overcome this by replacing it with an empowering belief. This allowed me to really believe in myself. Sonja's NLP skills make her a very effective coach and I would like to work more with her in the future."
Weight Management & Confidence: "During the last 10 years I have experienced intermittent weight management problems, which as a consequence was affecting my confidence, and thus negatively impacting on both my personal and professional life. I approached weight management from many an angle including lifestyle modification, diet and exercise, counselling etc. etc. For a few weeks my approach worked but that wasn’t long lived, before long I fell of the wagon! By the time I approached APower 3 I was desperate! During my sessions with Sonja, I noticed her extensive knowledge and expertise with her content to be remarkable. She has a wonderful ability to communicate with a wide variety of personalities, and help each individual reach their potential through understanding each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Her energy and spirit are amazing. Sonja’s personality is truly enchanting, cheerful and encouraging. She enjoys her work and makes sure that her clients enjoy the sessions too. Sonja is very adept at listening and helps and encourages you to see the light at the proverbial ‘end of the tunnel.’ Additionally Sonja has what I call ‘perspective.’ Because she is also involved in NLP, she possesses more than the average myopic view of a coach; She has the ability to see the bigger picture and relate the initial weight management with other facets of my life, which is something that I never considered. During my time with Sonja, I noted a positive difference in myself and a change in my attitude – I became a glass half full person as opposed to glass half empty person. The most prominent feature of my sessions was my ability to describe to Sonja a visualization of my progress; quite often I would state that I was now ready to break through the wall that was standing in front of me, and if not I would climb over it or walk round the sides! To date, I have lost a great deal of weight and on target to achieve my ideal weight. Incredibly I have maintained the weight loss, which is something that I haven’t been able to achieve thus far. I only have coach Sonja to thank for this – I am truly indebted to Sonja for her time, energy and patience!"
Mentoring for Spiritual Entrepreneurs: "Sonja and I have been working together for a few years now and I have grown to trust her advice. Our relationship has blossomed and her insights have supported me in my creative path with many positive outcomes. Sonja has not only been a valuable mentor for my business as a creative entrepreneur / artist but also in my spiritual practice. She has enabled me to have more awareness of how they all connect and link. She is a great grounding force and has helped me to focus. Sonja has also enabled my business and ideas to take flight and evolve. I would recommend her as she is insightful, listens and provides clarity in an open an non judgemental way."
Confidence in Social Situations: "My coach helped me with regaining my confidence in social situations. She made me think differently in relaxing sessions. She put me at ease and I found it very helpful. I have now learnt to have positive thoughts as opposed to negativity. I look forward to socialising rather than declining invitations and staying home!"
Career & Focus: "APower 3's work exceeded all my expectations. My coach had a gift of understanding and absorbing potentialities and transforming them into action and goals in a practical and direct way. I highly recommend their services."