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Coaching the next generation of female leaders: Katie’s story

Katie Hassan

6 Mar 2020

Home > News > Coaching the next generation of female leaders: Katie’s story

Katie Hasson, IGNITE – Internal Executive Coaching Lead

They say motherhood changes you. For me, my priorities in both my personal and professional life changed. I can’t believe that five years on I am a qualified executive coach, or that I have designed programmes and built internal communities to help women succeed and bring like-minded people together – but life has a way of surprising you.

Based in Singapore, I started at Standard Chartered as an organisational change manager before becoming a project manager, which is when I went part-time. Making this switch gave me a better work-life balance.

Creating my own path

I’ve always loved helping others achieve their goals. After attending a coaching seminar in Sydney in 2018, I realised I wanted to start a new career – one that gave me greater fulfillment. Owing to the tremendous support I was given when I joined the company, I felt ready to give back. In particular to women looking to develop their careers.

After coming up with a plan to create a new internal coaching programme for women, I pitched my idea to senior stakeholders, and shortly after, got the funding and support I needed to get my new project rolling. 10 willing executive coaches from within the Bank came forward to offer their skills and expertise. I brought in Dr Paul Brown, a neuroscientist, to give these coaches insight on the best ways to coach and mentor, backed up by the latest scientific research.

“I’ve moulded my career around my life, while helping pave the way for women to get into leadership roles”

Igniting potential

Before long, we were all set. The initiative became known as IGNITE. With 10 coaches upskilled and ready to go, we were ready for our first cohort of 10 women. We started with an opening ceremony where everybody could get to know each other before they commenced their learning journey.

I kept in contact with each woman involved, to ensure that the sessions were achieving what we had planned. The women were extremely ambitious and enjoyed the community aspect of the sessions. Though it was a huge challenge, the encouraging feedback I got made it all worth it.

Three of the women got a promotion after the programme, and another discovered a new role within the company. All of the women involved became more confident in their roles, voicing their ideas and putting themselves forward for other opportunities. I was delighted by these women’s success, and the part I had played in helping them grow.

Loving life in my new role

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to create a role that suits my work-life balance. Thanks to the Bank’s continued support of me and the programme, we’re expanding it and now have 25 coaches across seven countries. We’re launching a new four-month programme this year to include more women wanting to transform their careers.

Taking the decision to change my career at the ‘midway’ point was not easy. But if I take a step back, I see the enormity of what I have accomplished – I’ve forged my own path, moulding my career around my life, while helping pave the way for women to get into leadership roles. Together, we can help each other achieve anything we set our minds to.

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