When you have more women at the top, magic happens. You have a boardroom that represents your customer base, you have more diverse and creative thinking, you have a new style of human and inclusive leadership that we all crave and all the research shows you have an organisation that will be 35% more successful than your less progressive and diverse competitors. When your women thrive, your men thrive too and so does your business.
We bring together women to be expertly guided through a series of tools, techniques and facilitated conversations. These provide deep insight and self-awareness and create opportunities to safely explore how women will uniquely step up and play a bigger game in their professional and personal lives.
The insight and impact is transformative. Women who experience Shine continue to tell us that we’ve changed their lives and enabled them to achieve more than they ever imagined possible.
We engage line/direct managers, sponsors and other champions to support and accelerate the progress of delegates who are going through the programme.
Workshops that give women the opportunity to build a bigger vision and plan, that provides a renewed energy, commitment and focus.
A series of live and on-demand sessions which delve into action and accountability against delegates' plans - for themselves and for the wider organisation.
Women will actively set their sights on achieving greater seniority, take more ownership of their careers and have better control of their futures.
Greater confidence, self-belief and resilience amongst your female workforce. They will feel re-energised, engaged and motivated to work for you.
A powerful collective of men and women ready to support each other, hold each other to account and drive impact through the business.
Deeper empathy and understanding across all areas of your business, making it more inclusive and a highly desirable place to work for both existing and potential talent.
I was lucky enough to be nominated to attend Shine For Women in Jan 2016 which I was thrilled about – to have the chance to take two days out of life to focus on yourself is such a rare gift. My colleagues who had already been to Shine raved about how transformational it was, so the spaces were highly coveted!
The timing of it happened to coincide with just finding out I was pregnant again with my second child and all the conflicting emotions that can bring with it. I was thrilled for the news whilst also apprehensive about what that would mean for my career path…
My company had been incredibly supportive after my first child. Two years prior when I had returned from maternity leave they had unquestioningly accommodated my desire to transition from a digital product role into a client leadership role. Fast forward two years and I was poised for the next challenge. I was ready to take on more of a leadership role but I feared that another maternity leave might get in the way of that.
There were a couple of people from my company there, and a few others from similar backgrounds which meant that we understood the cultures in which many of us worked. As soon as we started talking, the safety of the space meant that everyone was open and honest (and emotionally free!) from the very start.
The exercises we did were incredibly powerful – I found it particularly useful to spend time reflecting on my values. I realised the significance to me of feeling part of something bigger – that sense of belonging really matters to me and that will continue to be a focus for the teams I build. I’ve worked out who my allies are and I now tell everyone to identify their champions and take strength from them. It helped me focus on my Bigger Game and think long term rather than worrying about being “out of the game” and absent from the workplace for a year’s maternity.
I’ve found myself coming back the principles I learnt again and again. They stand true whatever the circumstances. I revisited the techniques once my second maternity leave finished and made a bold move to step into a role that set me on the right path to leadership that I had wanted.
Since Shine set the wheels in motion I have started my dream job as Managing Director of PGOne which is Publicis Groupe’s media, data, content and creative agency, built to service Procter & Gamble. I’m still using what I learnt at Shine in sometimes unexpected ways – when you start a new job in the middle of a pandemic I have found that tools such as mapping your thoughts against the Circle of Concern vs the Circle of Influence can really help focus your energy on what you can and can’t control!
Shine came at a pivotal moment for me. I had had by anyone’s standards, a hairy few years. I had burnt out during a pitch (see lovely before and after picture), suffered with ongoing mental health following that time, left my job, my dad had a heart attack and was in intensive care for 7 weeks, my husband had depression and then sadly, completely out of the blue my lovely mum contracted sepsis and died very suddenly two years ago.
After being a very driven, full time working mum of two wonderful girls (now 13 and 15) I had to throw my hands in the air and “deal with it”. I needed to stop and work out what I had to do to grieve, to get well and to work out what my purpose was when life could (and for my mum was) be snatched away at any moment.
So, 2019 was the “getting better” year, I did a hell of a lot of yoga, got a therapist and a health coach and set up my own business where I could choose who and where and how I worked. I chose Xaxis, which is part of GroupM. A year after consulting with them they offered me a job as Global Director of People Performance and three months later I was booked to attend a Shine programme. Good decision Jo Davey!
Then I started to feel really rubbish again. After a lot of googling I realised I was menopausal (a bit early at 46 but hey ho I’ve always been early for everything). It completely blindsided me. The mood swings, the anger, the fatigue, the hot sweats, the foggy brain. The more I read about it the more flabbergasted I was – 25% of women have symptoms so severe that they consider or do give up work. Why is this not discussed? Why, when I tried to bring this up did people look embarrassed, like I was discussing something dark and sinister and never to be mentioned?
And that’s when Shine happened. I had just started treatment and it was just the most incredible experience to have permission to switch off from all the roles I do and focus on myself and my purpose. And also to hang out with some totally inspirational ladies – both the Shine coaches and my colleagues – many of whom had been or were going through challenging times too.
I built an internal support site for my company with information for affected individuals, their managers and their partners and friends. HR created a menopause policy and managers guide and I wrote an online training. I think the best thing we’ve done is to recruit Menopause Champions – women who are going through it or have gone through it – to share their stories. We’ve held lunch and learns and they’ve been attended at times (to my surprise) by nearly 100 people – many of whom have contacted me since saying that they hadn’t connected the dots that what they are feeling could be menopause!
I’ve got braver about talking about it externally too – and recently took part in a podcast on menopause and consciously planning the next part of my life with a New York Times Bestseller of a book called Essentialism. It was an amazing experience – and something I never imagined I would get to do! I’ve even put my name down for the Brighton Marathon – watch this space!
Shine had been recommended to me by a dear colleague after I shared my feelings of being stuck and not quite satisfied in my job. Up to this point, my career had been the result of taking opportunities as they came and I felt happy to be offered great chances for development regularly in an amazing company like Roche. But despite working in a lovely team, contributing to enabling patients access to medicines around the globe, I did not really feel passionate about my every-day job, which left me almost feeling guilty.
It was the atmosphere in the Bavarian countryside that had put me in the right mindset for finding myself; far away from home and work. I was with a group of fabulous women with various backgrounds, everyone was equal, encouraged to be vulnerable and for the first time, I dared to face reality and ask myself “How are you feeling Stella? What are your core values and are you living up to them? What do you want your life to be and what is holding you back?”.
It was two hours into the program when it dawned on me that I admired values I didn’t dare to fully embrace myself at home and at work, that I had projected the feeling of being stuck in my private life onto my job, that I was waiting for somebody else to make my dreams come true because I never dared to admit that I wasn’t alright and I realised that things wouldn’t just vanish if I continued putting on a strong face.
I left Shine with so much awareness for what I really wanted for my private and professional life in the short-, mid- and longterm, that I felt scared and utterly excited and energized at once.
I did not pull my life upside down all of a sudden. It felt much more as if I had a new-found sense of responsibility for my own happiness that created a shift from wanting my surroundings to change, to changing my life myself.
So today, less than a year later, I reviewed my 5-year goals and almost didn’t believe my eyes when realising that I have started to make every single one of them happen and so much more.
Since attending Shine I trained to become an executive coach, I changed my job, I made some significant changes in my private life and started to teach other people how to bake sourdough bread virtually – and the global pandemic we are in was more of a booster than a barrier.
This didn’t happen overnight. I worked on a few changes very deliberately and others felt like ‘they just happened’, as a result of living up to my core value of being my authentic self every day.
I feel Shine has enabled me to be aware of the full spectrum of myself. When signing up for Shine I explained to my friends and family half joking that I was attending a ‘finding myself-seminar’. Today I know this was true and that finding yourself is a beautiful life-long journey, the biggest gift you can give to yourself.
If you would like to know more about Stella and her journey, follow @sourdough_soulfood on Instagram.
Jill is a client leader in advertising with 30 years’ experience working alongside some of the world’s top brands including L’Oréal, Kimberly-Clark, Sony, J&J, Unilever and IBM. She spent a large part of her career at the agency group Ogilvy, before moving client-side to Cerebos (now Brand’s Suntory) where she built digital and CRM best practice, trained talents in a centre of excellence and doubled the size of the business within seven years.
Jill came to Shine in 2017 as part of the Wunderman global programme, which they call ‘Pass It On’. She had not long started her current role which is Managing Director of the Taiwan market.
When I first joined Wunderman I experienced a culture shock. The management team had very different ways of operating to what I had been used to, there was a high staff turnover, and two years after I arrived there was a merger with JWT to form Wunderman Thompson.
Pass It On was an opportunity for me to reflect, which came at a time where I really needed it. I was finding it hard to break through the noise and establish myself, and my gremlins had started to creep in, telling me things like; ‘You wanted to be an office head but you’re not qualified.’ ‘You don’t know how to solve the problem even though you’re working 13-hour days.’, ‘You should give up – this is not a place for you!’
Facing my fears made me realise that I was struggling to make an impact despite working extremely hard. I was spending too much time overly worrying about potentially missing deadlines, meaning we would lose clients, which would then see us getting a bad reputation in the industry. But the reality was that none of this had actually happened. I returned to the business much stronger and more focused.
In 2019, global leadership were looking for a new Taiwan CEO. When I learned it wasn’t me, my first response was ‘Why’s it not me?! I have the right experience!’… However this time, my renewed focus and confidence from Shine helped me realise within seconds that I didn’t want that position at all. I want to be an expert in what I know I’m really good at, not managing the business operation. I want to make Wunderman Thompson the agency that helps clients grow in Taiwan, and that is exactly what I am doing to this day.
Since that day I have spent my time meeting clients, running workshops, leading training programmes and working closely with the regional and global Wunderman Thompson teams. Some of my colleagues call me ‘Teacher’, which at first made me feel uncomfortable, but now I really enjoy sharing my experiences and developing talent.
During the pandemic, I have found resilience and have led five internal training programmes, three school courses, four client workshops and seven new business pitches. I have also invested more time exploring my passions outside of work, learning watercolour painting, taking yoga courses and reading. These things make me feel calm, hopeful and progressive, and overall I am much happier with the journey I am on.