Stephenson Coaching

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A dynamic duo to boost women’s careers

How can we best support women in their careers, particularly in positions of responsibility?

Three questions to professional coaches Joanna Menezes and Marie Stephenson, who together have created a coaching programme on the subject.

Where did the idea come from to create this original duo programme?

MarieStephenson: On the advice of a friend, we met several years ago over lunch. We were both coaches but we were also both Franco-British, with Belgian-Indian origins for Joanna and Iraqi for me. So we felt an immediate connection! The desire to work together was quickly born. It was an obvious choice for me  I never saw Joanna as a competitor because we each have our own specificity and our own areas of expertise.

Joanna Menezes: It started out as a friendship between us. Then, as we got to know each other and shared our values, we came up with the idea of putting together a joint offering. In the course of our discussions, we realised that supporting women was a subject we shared and one that was particularly close to our hearts. So when the opportunity arose, we decided to take the plunge and turn the idea into a reality. Our first event, for a client based in Paris, took place on 8 March 2023, International Women’s Rights Day.

Why is the subject of women’s leadership particularly close to your heart?

M.S. : Personally, I’m convinced that the world could be a better place if gender equality were a reality. Their complementary qualities can change things! But the women I work with on a day-to-day basis are often blocked: they don’t dare express themselves, they lack confidence… There’s a real need. That’s why I wanted to create this specific programme for them.

J. M. : We need to highlight the added value of women and help them to go beyond societal injunctions. But we also need to transform the leadership model in depth and pass this on to the younger generations. We are both fighting to ensure that young people – girls and boys alike – have inspiring female role models and are not held back in their careers.

‘Personally, I’m convinced that the world could be a better place if gender equality were a reality’.

Marie Stephenson

How do you complement each other?

M.S. : We’re both certified and supervised coaches. But we have different backgrounds and areas of expertise. For my part, after studying literature, I trained at the LKB coaching school in Paris, but also in hypnotherapy and transactional analysis. Since 2012, I’ve been working on the psychological aspects of my clients’ lives, their inner ‘dragons’, their public speaking… While Joanna is an expert in the more operational and systemic aspects. When our clients come back, they talk about a “dynamic duo”. I think that the energy of two is different and is easily transmitted to the participants.

J. M. : Nossessions flow smoothly, as if we’d always worked together ! For my part, even though I’m aware of this internal dimension that hinders women, I’m very sensitive to the systemic dimension of the subject linked to the business world and society in general. This undoubtedly comes from my training  I have a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and a diploma in coaching and mentoring from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) in London.

During our programme, whether it’s coaching or training, we each express our expertise to provide a holistic vision of the subject, while sharing with each other. For our customers, the other advantage is that we are both bilingual and, because of our multiculturalism, we have an international perspective on the subject.

” During our programme, we each express our expertise to provide a holistic vision of the subject, while sharing with each other “.

Joanna Menezes

Blog article written by par Laure Blancard :

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