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Parental transition coaching: how to fix the "broken rung of the ladder"

Written by Emma Waltham | Parental Returners Expert


In late 2023, the Young Women’s Trust shared findings from its poll of 900 HR decision-makers, which showed that nearly one in seven rate men as better for top jobs and nearly one in five admitted they were reluctant to hire women they thought might go on to start families.



Claire Reindorp, YWT’s chief executive, said: “We know it’s hard for young women to get the jobs that they want because of barriers such as a lack of flexible working and affordable childcare, but then when they do enter the workplace, discrimination and a lack of support to progress creates this broken rung on the career ladder. It’s a travesty that in 2023 young women still aren’t being given the same chances in life as young men.”


Making a lasting impact

The biases and outdated attitudes identified in the YWT’s research are incredibly harmful as they funnel down through the organisation, negatively affecting women’s experiences in the workplace – including access to promotion opportunities, missing out on training and development and unfair treatment – which ultimately perpetuate the gender pay gap.


Parental Transition Coaching – 1:1 coaching for returning parents – is vital to helping women overcome these barriers. Coaching makes a lasting impact because it is:


  • 1:1 – a targeted, tailored programme where sessions explore and build upon recurring themes

  • Delivered at the time it’s needed – when returners’ careers can be derailed and disrupted

  • Focused on helping returners successfully blend their careers with their family lives

  • An excellent opportunity for organisations to identify common issues affecting their returners, and implement changes

  • Key to showing your returners that they are valued – keeping them on their career pathways, while maintaining engagement and productivity.


“Coaching helped me explore what was important to me and reconcile those multiple things. I realised that I needed to find the next step in my career that would allow me some flexibility to be around for my son and provide him with some stability.
Amazingly, I managed to get an offer for a new role in the midst of my coaching that offered all of these things, so I felt sure that it was the right thing for me to take this next step.” Parental Transition Coaching participant

"An absolute must-do" - what our coachees say

We are always delighted to receive feedback from returners who've taken part in our Parental Transition Coaching programme. Here are just a few examples:


“Parental Transition Coaching is an absolute must-do. Returning to work can be incredibly daunting and you won’t always realise how you may feel until you return or even some time after you return. The sessions can help you realise priorities you have or address challenges you may not have thought you would face.”

“The sessions are customised to your needs. For me, the topics developed from one session to the next and I came out of each session feeling that I had learnt something important about myself. Since finishing the programme, I feel a lot more confident in taking on situations that would have made me uncomfortable or even feel scared in the past.”

1:1 coaching programmes available right now!

Don’t let outdated attitudes and harmful biases hold back your returners – put plans in place today to support them through the parental transition, so they return to work feeling positive, valued and engaged.


We currently have parental transition coaching sessions available with our experienced, specialist coaches. If you’d like to book in one of your returning mums, get in touch and we can get the ball rolling.

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