Celebrating International Women's Day with Samantha England

Tell us about yourself and your role. What you do and what challenges does it bring?

I work as a management coach at Davies and I also helped design its Women in Leadership programme. I’ve been in leadership management for more than ten years and before that I had a range of management roles in healthcare. I love the training industry and being able to pass on the skills and knowledge I have gained through my career to others in the different sectors.

As part of the role at Davies, I support women in their Level 5 Operations and Departmental Manager qualification or Level 3 Team Leader qualification, teaching leadership and management theories and soft skills. Supporting the women to stay engaged and motived can be a challenge as they often have a heavy workload and are extremely busy, though we have a fantastic program that the ladies genuinely love being a part of.

 

What is needed in the industry to encourage more women to take on leadership roles?

Women need to know that they can have both. They can be truly successful in leadership without sacrificing their work/life balance. I think that’s important as a lot of women think to get to the top they’ll have to work so much and compromise their personal life and wellbeing. Women need to be reassured that they can be successful in leadership and still have time themselves inside and outside of work.

 

What challenges are there for women looking for leadership roles in the insurance and financial services sector and how is Davies hoping to tackle these?

As the insurance and financial services sector is a male dominated sector, women have to deal with challenges surrounding inequality in the workplace. The Women in Leadership programme is a massive opportunity to help challenge those inequalities – and it works. Over half of the women for our first cohort have been promoted in their roles while on the programme.

Women joining the course are encouraged to take on new responsibilities and join senior leadership meetings that they wouldn’t usually to attend. This has helped the ladies be seen and take on new opportunities as they arise.

 

How have some of the women on the Women in Leadership programme developed so far?

The women I work with have developed so much as a people since starting the qualification mainly because they’ve given themselves the space to find out what management styles work for them. The women also get so inspired by all the other women on the course, which helps them learn from each other and grow in lots of different areas as the course is open to so many different sectors everyone’s got something to share.

 

Is there a woman that has inspired you professionally or otherwise to work hard and get to where you want to be?

There are so many women in my life who inspire me every day. But it’s the women on the Women in Leadership programme that inspire me most. I’m always quite surprised and pleased with what comes out in the webinars, because the ladies share all sorts of life experiences – sometimes personal, sometimes directly to do with work. It is great to all come together listen to how they handled their challenges.

 

Connect with Samantha England on LinkedIn

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