Travel, Training and Time to Reflect

It’s been an exciting time for Ishreen, Mel and Catherine.

A big part of their focus has been to fully accredit our first programme leaders. Yes, our first two Apprentices, Manju and Sian will become programme leaders this year – enabling us to spread the love to many more people and even take our work to lands outside the UK!

We are also very proud of our junior Apprentices Andrea and Simi who are also doing incredibly well.



Ishreen has a number of new programmes to support us women in showing up at our best:

1. Ishreen’s new programme for women at work to become crystal clear on their purpose at work and have an active plan for getting their message out to those who can benefit from what they have to offer opened in April.

2. Her award winning FastForward15 mentoring programme for the hospitality and events sector began in late April where 15 women in the sector will be mentored by senior leaders in their field. Ishreen designed this programme and as last year, will be coaching the mentors to develop their skills in this area so that the mentees can really blossom. The 2016 programme builds on last year where most of the mentees either got promoted or started a new business of their own.

Ishreen’s new mentor team for this year's Fast Forward15 cohort - empowering 15 new female leaders in the hospitality and events sector - enjoying afternoon tea at The Andaz.

Ishreen’s new mentor team for this year’s Fast Forward15 cohort – empowering 15 new female leaders in the hospitality and events sector – enjoying afternoon tea at The Andaz.


3. Her latest episode of Round Table Breakfast discussions with senior female leaders from the LIFTED sectors (Logistics, Information and media, Finance, Technology, Engineering and Design) took place in late April at the quirky and luxurious London Edition. The group looked at the value of measuring potential as well as performance in advancing the female talent pipeline.

Ishreen leading her February Roundtable in the historic ‘Old Library’ at Ashridge House

Ishreen leading her February Roundtable in the historic ‘Old Library’ at Ashridge House



I also got the chance to speak with Mel after her first trip to Athens and Warsaw (awesome stuff)! Whilst training an eclectic group of creatives and cultural professionals, she explored these fascinating cities. From Roman artifacts to Greek monuments to Jewish history she learned a lot. Mel also networked with various professionals whilst visiting cafes and restaurants in the evening and said,

It was a real privilege meeting such interesting and committed people from different parts of the world”.

She has also successfully launched her 90-day online coaching programme ‘Turn your Vision into Results’, for people who want support for their dream projects. She also just started on a research project for the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. The purpose is to support the greater intake of Black and Asian theatre practitioners into the industry.


Mel training an eclectic group of creatives and cultural professionals in Athens, Greece.




Catherine on the other hand has been dealing with the illness of an important Associate to her Practice, over the past few weeks. This has led to a bit of a slowing down of the administrative processes whilst she allocates the work that this key Associate held.

Things are however in control as Catherine has been holding the fort by overseeing various projects, ensuring all of the requisite systems are in check. Her key focus is to maintain the standards in providing high quality professional training, consultancy and advice around safeguarding children and other vulnerable groups.

As director of a well-known safeguarding business, it has been quite tough for Catherine to break the news to the entire professional network, due to both the personal connection they have with the Associate in question and the very high esteem in which she is held.

She also reiterated the invaluable amount of skill and experience this team member contributes to the entire safeguarding chain.

She ended by mentioning that the learning from this situation is the importance of being both emotionally literate and sensitive in delivering this type of news to key stakeholders in the Children’s Services. The art of handling illness and other unforeseen happenings makes for effective business operations.




The Women on Purpose diary leapt to life for 2016 with the first Immersion Experience in April. Now the team are preparing for the second one. Yes – we are having two Immersion Experiences this year – for the first time ever!

The Immersion Experience event in April went incredibly well with the participants rating it very highly. The feedback showed the women had gained a huge amount in a short space of time, including:

The confidence to take more risks
Tools to clarify what I want/need
Being able to realise my potential
Clarity and a push for what I needed to do career-wise
Understanding my journey and growth
Recipe for my life – to turn it around
A belief I can make the transformation needed
Inspiration and insight

To take part in the May Immersion Experience? Find out more here – Immersion Experience 2016

Thanks for catching up with us here on the latest edition of the Director’s Diary. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Afua Akoto


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