A new female leadership consultancy WomanUp has been formed by three of the founders of WoW, the voluntary female leadership initiative which published the #WomanUp action plan on female leadership last November.
WoW was formed in mid-2015 with two objectives
· To run a pilot programme to enable high-potential females at a mid-career stage to progress to more senior roles and
equip them with the skills, confidence and supports needed
· To publish research on how businesses can develop their female talent pipeline
Both of those objectives were met beyond the founders’ expectations. The pilot has made a lasting difference to the careers of the 27 mentees. Confidence levels were boosted and a third of our mentees switched jobs or got promotions in the immediate aftermath of the programme.
Last November, #WomanUp, an action plan on female leadership, was launched by Gary McGann, Chair of Paddy Power Betfair plc and Chair of Aryzta AG. The plan was based on the learnings from the programme, research on barriers to female leadership and interviews with business and academic leaders. It met with an enormously positive response and lots of suggestions about what should happen next.
However, WoW’s founders struggled to develop a sustainable model as a voluntary entity because of the enormous personal commitments involved. They come to a decision that it was not feasible to continue this work on a voluntary basis and that another model was needed to ensure that the work started in WoW has a lasting impact.
Consequently, a decision was taken to wind up WoW as a voluntary initiative. However, three members of the founding team – Clodagh Hughes, Carol Bolger and Aileen O’Toole – decided to regroup. Together, they have launched a new entity called WomanUp, which is offering strategic services and programmes on a commercial basis to businesses that want to develop their female leadership pipelines.