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What can Women In Consulting learn from the BBC gender pay gap report? by Catriona Cookson

The publication of the BBC report last week created much debate around the earnings of its “top talent” ranging from the chuckling over “How can Gary Lineker be worth £1.8m to watch the football and ask Alan Shearer if he thought it was a valid claim for a penalty?” to the disbelief and anger of the omission from the list of two very talented and tenacious journalists Sarah Montague and Emily Maitlis, meaning they earned less than £150,000 per year.

Many companies throughout the UK will be gearing up to releasing their own gender pay gap findings and PwC (which has been very transparent in publishing their findings) has just released its latest figures:

showing their gender pay gap has reduced from 15% to 13.7 % since last year, and when adjusted for job level this shrinks to 2.9%.

However, the bonus figures released from PwC show that men take home 37.5% more in bonuses! From what I see, all new graduates into consulting earn the same and you can rest assured that all the consulting firms will be very diligent in ensuring their female consultants’ pay keeps pace with the men as they progress through the firm.

The new intake of young women into consulting ( and indeed their more experienced colleagues) may like to keep in mind the comments of Emily Maitlis – “Women sit there waiting for things to come to them and not realising that actually all the men are running off asking for them. You don’t get something because you sit politely and are well – behaved”

Could this contribute to the bonus variation? To all our Women in Consulting, I say …you’re worth it, you know you’re worth it and sometimes you just need to make sure you tell the person sitting in the Big Chair with the bonus pot, you’re worth it too!!!



Are randomness and uncertainty playing an increasingly greater roles in determining business success?

I for one have felt a little uneasy at times over the past 12 months but I think this just makes us more robust. In my mind, the world keeps turning and the UK workforce has always had the ability to bounce back…..unless there’s something crazy on the political horizon…..surely not?!!

- Andrew Goodfellow



Goal Setting

Do you have a clear idea as to what you want to achieve this year? Do you have a 5 year plan?  Are your clear about what your objectives are at work? Do these align with any personal plans you might have now and for the future?

To succeed in making any of the above into reality, it is really important to set your goals and have a plan in place as to how to achieve them. Goals provide focus and direction, they give shape and clarity to vague ideas and provide a pathway to getting where you want to go.

The problem usually lies in the fact that most people have no idea how to translate what is in their head into a clear action plan and find it difficult to do this on their own.

So – here are some steps to help you on your way:

  1. Motivation : your goals must be important to you, and you must feel that there is value to you in achieving them. If you aren’t motivated, you won’t have the impetus to achieve them
  2. SMART goals : you should be able to apply the SMART litmus test to each of your goals: Are they:
  • S  pecific :       Clear and well defined
  • M easurable : Include precise information against which you can measure success
  • A ttainable :   Make sure it’s possible to achieve the goals you set; no pipe dreams
  • R elevant :      Goals should fit with your life and the direction you want to head in
  • T ime specific: Give yourself realistic deadlines
  1. Put your goals in writing. This will make your goals feel real and tangible, and will give you something you can refer back to.
  2. Make an action plan. After all your hard work in framing your goals, you need to break them down into manageable,  bite sized chunks. As you tick each off each step along the way, you will have a sense of moving forward and feel that much closer to the end-game.
  3. Stick with it! Don’t give up – goal setting is an on going activity so give your self reminders to keep on track, set aside a regular time to review where you are up to and congratulate yourself each time you achieve a step along the way!

By following these five simple steps in the Goal Setting toolkit, you will be able to translate ideas into action, and have a far better chance of making them reality. Unless you spend the time really understanding what you want, why you want it and how you are going to get it, the chances of achieving your goals will be much reduced. So give it a go! Who knows what you can do when you put your mind to it.

To help you, here is a Goal Setting Template


Goal Setting Worksheet 1Goal Setting Worksheet 2












If you would like help in setting your goals, contact Liz at :



Returning to work after parental leave can be daunting for new parents and with the advent of shared parental leave, the issue can affect both women and men.  Everyone experiences this new phase of life differently and it can vary with each period of parental leave. The support you receive from your employer and colleagues will have a huge impact on your ability to readjust quickly, as well as your own feelings about your return.

Typical issues faced are that the business has moved on in your absence, there may be changes to the economic climate that affect the dynamics of the business, colleagues and clients may change or have moved on, and maybe others have taken on some of your role and responsibilities.

On a personal level, you may feel a lack of confidence, maybe you need to invest time in getting up to speed with new business initiatives or technical changes, and dealing with the whole work / life balance is a massive issues in itself.

If you are struggling with this new phase in your life, coaching may enable you to work through the issues you face and find effective strategies to deal with these issues much quicker that if you try and cope alone. I will work with you to get you to a place where you are able to balance both areas of your life so that they can exist in harmony.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion contact me at



If you have had to take a sustained period of time off work due to illness, the return to work can sometimes prove challenging. On the one hand you are delighted that you can return to a semblance of ‘normality’ by going back to the familiar routine of work, but on the other hand it can feel disorientating  and induce feelings of anxiety and stress.

The ease with which you are able to return will depend on the type of illness you have experienced, the length of time you have been absent and the attitude of both you and your employer to the situation.  However, it is not unusual to experience  a lack of confidence, concern about asking for any extra support you might need, and issues around slotting back into your old role, especially if others have had to cover for you in your absence.

If you find yourself in this position, some external assistance in the form of coaching might help ease the transition of your return, providing you with coping strategies, boosting your confidence and enabling  you to discuss any issues that are troubling you in a safe and confidential space. I understand from personal experience the challenges an extended period of leave for illness can raise and so will be sensitive to your situation.

If this resonates with you, please contact me to discuss in more detail :


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