How do athletes make Plan B when they’re still in Zone A? We hear from former GB rower Monica Relph and Olympic swimmer Lizzie Simmonds.

How do athletes make Plan B when they’re still in Zone A? We hear from former GB rower Monica Relph and Olympic swimmer Lizzie Simmonds.

Athletes know their time in sport will naturally be limited – by health, wealth, and selection battles, but the end date is not always predictable. It’s essential to have a Plan B brewing while you are still deeply committed to your sport.

Here Monica Relph, former GB rower and development expert at Moving Ahead shares her top tips for creating your Plan B.

DIVERSITY REDEFINED TO INCLUDE THINKING STYLE AND PERSONALITY IN PROGRESSIVE NEW D&I PROGRAMME

DIVERSITY REDEFINED TO INCLUDE THINKING STYLE AND PERSONALITY IN PROGRESSIVE NEW D&I PROGRAMME

A progressive new diversity and inclusion (D&I) programme that broadens the scope of initiatives to include thinking style and personality type as well as gender, ethnicity and sexuality, is being launched next week.Mission INCLUDE, founded by diversity and development experts Moving Ahead, and global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, brings CEOs and senior executives together to take action to create truly inclusive behaviours and cultures by focusing on the individual talent, not the ‘label’ they sit under.

Pioneering female actuary mentoring scheme launched with support from significant industry names

A mentoring scheme for female actuaries, being officially launched at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (“IFoA”) on 6 November 2017, has received support from some of the biggest employers of actuaries in the country. The employers that have committed to Project AMP, alongside sponsors Pension Insurance Corporation (“PIC”), are: the Prudential Regulatory Authority, Aviva, Phoenix Group, Mercer, Lane Clark & Peacock, Barnett Waddingham, Xafinity, and the Government Actuary’s Department. 

Project AMP is designed to improve diversity at senior levels of the actuarial profession by helping to stem the worrying level of females leaving the profession much earlier than their male counterparts.

High potential women in career 'danger zone' to be mentored in rapidly growing scheme

High potential women in career 'danger zone' to be mentored in rapidly growing scheme

High potential women in the ‘danger zone’ of their careers will be mentored by senior male and female leaders in the UK’s fastest-growing cross-company mentoring programme, designed to attract and retain women into leadership and Board roles.

The massive recent growth of the 30% Club cross company mentoring programme, designed and delivered by purpose-led diversity and development experts Women Ahead, reflects the recognition of and need for mentoring schemes to balance the gender divide in senior leadership in UK organisations. Today there are 27% women on FTSE-100 boards. 
 

New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations

New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations

Turning the gender diversity dial, in collaboration with and sponsored by Deloitte, which encompassed more than 6,000 people across 40 major UK organisations, shows that mentoring is creating better gender diversity in the workplace, and enabling organisational cultures to become more inclusive and creative as a result. More than 3,000 years on from the Greek mythological origin of mentoring, it is being used to overcome present-day challenges of the gender pay gap, leadership equality, and the conscious and unconscious biases that exist around gender.
 
The Moving Ahead research found that structured, formal gender-based mentoring programmes are creating better gender diversity in the workplace by significantly growing women’s confidence, enabling a more inclusive culture and organization, creating positive change beyond the programme, providing the skills and frameworks for more empathetic, accessible leaders and driving best practice for broader mentoring schemes in organisations.

Engage boys and men to empower girls and women says world's leading male feminist

Engage boys and men to empower girls and women says world's leading male feminist

“We cannot fully empower girls and women unless we engage boys and men” – that’s the advice from Dr Michael Kimmel, the ‘world’s most prominent male feminist’ to female business leaders at a 30% Club and Women Ahead celebration event last week.

Hundreds of 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme participants met at The Mermaid Centre in London on Wednesday 21 June, to celebrate the close of the largest mentoring scheme of its kind in the UK, and to find out the winners of the inaugural #inspiredbymentoring awards.

Dame Helena Morrissey DBE, who was recently made a Dame in the Queen’s birthday honours,  thanked participants on the 30% Club scheme, and the Women Ahead team who mange and deliver this scheme for the 30% Club. She said the scheme is one of her proudest 30% Club achievements.

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE supports Moving Ahead’s Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme at London Stock Exchange Group Market Open ceremony

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE supports Moving Ahead’s Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme at London Stock Exchange Group Market Open ceremony

Sport and business united today when Moving Ahead’s, CEO Liz Dimmock was invited to officially open the market at the London Stock Exchange with Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE.

The Market Open ceremony was a chance for mentors on Moving Ahead’s life-changing Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme to hear from business and sports leaders including Tim Jones, Group Head of HR at London Stock Exchange Group, multiple Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE and Pam Relph MBE, double Paralympic rowing champion.

Mentoring can change lives and improve business - 30% Club scheme members tell us how

Mentoring can change lives and improve business - 30% Club scheme members tell us how

The largest cross-company mentoring scheme in the UK invited organisations and individuals to a special launch event last week.

The hugely successful 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme, managed by specialist diversity mentoring experts at Women Ahead, is about to launch its fifth year. The scheme, which matches male and female senior leaders with high potential female mentees from different organisations, has grown from eight participating organisations four years ago, to more than 60 this year and 1,250 mentors and mentees.

We heard excellent feedback on the 30% Club and Women Ahead cross-company mentoring scheme, 2016-17:

“Mentees have tremendous determination and the ability to change the world.  Sometimes they just don’t realise this and so mentors help them to realise that potential.” 

Avril Martingale, Partner, Freshfields

 

"Everybody talks about culture, but we didn’t really know what that meant for us.  When we looked more closely at our culture, we realised it was very much built around how we do things whereas we needed it to be more about why we do things.  So we have spent time looking at our purpose and really understanding why we exist and the reasons for doing what we do." 

Tracy Blackwell, CEO, Pension Insurance Corporation

 

“We noticed that at a certain level there was a significant drop in the number of women staying in our organisation.  Mentoring has given an opportunity to help our women see where the possibilities for development exist and what they could achieve if they stayed.”

Simone Vroegop, Head of Consultant Relations EMEA, State Street

 

“In the mentoring process, the knowledge, learning and insight I am gathering is so incredibly powerful.  Understanding how my mentees juggle their lives is humbling.” 

Dominic Broom, Global Head of Trade Business Development, BNY Mellon

 

“My goal was to look at building new processes within our organisation.  My mentor clearly had the answers to my issues, but he never just gave them to me.  He made me think about how I could find my own solutions using what I already know.”

Tara Burns, Divisional Director, Man Bites Dog

LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION AND RICOH UK CELEBRATE SUCCESSFUL MENTORING SCHEME

LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION AND RICOH UK CELEBRATE SUCCESSFUL MENTORING SCHEME

A first-of-its kind mentoring scheme to accelerate the development of women working in tennis came to a successful close last week, with mentees and mentors saying the experience had been transformational.

The 30% Club sport and business mentoring scheme, managed by Women Ahead, carefully matched senior leaders at Ricoh with female leaders at the Lawn Tennis Association. This is the only mentoring programme in the UK which gives people working in sport the opportunity to be mentored by a top tier executive from the business world. 

Business leaders race to mentor and recruit elite athletes

Business leaders race to mentor and recruit elite athletes

A pioneering Athlete to Business mentoring scheme was announced at the launch event of a first-of-its kind Athlete Network today.

 

More than 100 athletes and business leaders met at Moving Ahead’s Athlete Network and the A2B (Athlete to Business) mentoring programme launch at the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday 14 March with the help of ‘tiger tamer’ Jim Lawless, international rugby star and Moving Ahead facilitator Maggie Alphonsi, English Institute of Sport (EIS) National Director Nigel Walker, and a host of elite athletes and top tier business leaders.

Do minority networks work for their members, organisations or society?

Do minority networks work for their members, organisations or society?

An in-depth, global research study which uses qualitative data from 31 organisations and a neuroscientific understanding of the workplace. Practical tools to make networks more effective for their members, organisations and society. 

  • Literature findings – the ‘myths’ of networks versus the ‘realities’ at play in networks today
  • The Women Ahead networks life cycle to help pinpoint your network’s development 
  • International Standards for Effective Networks – a guideline to help your networks perform better

ATHLETE FUTURES: Elite athletes make superior employees says new University of Stirling research

Companies are invited to recruit an Olympian and hire a leader at Athlete Futures careers fair

Athletes have been shown to make exceptional employees according to new research from the University of Stirling.

The research conducted through the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust by Professor David Lavallee and Dr Pete Coffee from the University of Stirling demonstrates that being an elite athlete significantly impacts employability potential because they are more confident in their abilities to carry out broader roles in the workplace, and excel in identifying opportunities, taking action and lifting the productivity of their colleagues.

Companies and organisations are invited to attend the Athlete Futures careers fair at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry in 1 November where more than 300 elite athletes, including Olympians and Paralympians, will have the opportunity to meet employers from organisations as diverse as Aldi, Procter & Gamble, the London Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs.

Professor Lavallee, who will be discussing the implications of the findings at the Athlete Futures event said: “The employment market is one of the toughest in history, not just for job seekers but also for employers. We are at the dawn of an unparalleled skills crisis across the world and witnessing a significant transformation of the workforce.

“Because jobs are changing so rapidly and it is nearly impossible to predict the competencies needed to succeed in even a few years, employability is not solely whether a person has the right skills or not; it’s also whether they have the potential to develop and adapt into fundamentally different and increasingly complex roles and environments.”

Liz Dimmock, CEO of Moving Ahead which is managing the careers fair on behalf of UK Sport, the British Olympic Association, the British Paralympic Association and the English Institute of Sport, said: “This research proves that athletes make exceptional candidates. The Athlete Futures event provides the missing link between athletes and employers. It is critical that we harness the skills and potential of this diverse sector of the UK workforce, and this careers fair is a real step forward.”

World-class athletes have exceptional transferrable skills including a commitment to excellence, natural leadership and resilience under extreme pressure. They are proven team players with strong communication skills. This week’s Heroes Parade in Manchester demonstrated the enormous respect Great Britain has for its athletes and has inspired many new employers to sign up to the event in a bid to add this influential future leadership element to their team.

Richard Branson famously advocates hiring athletes because they are goal driven and achievement oriented, learn from failure quickly and have ‘grit’.

Monica Relph, Senior Client and Programme Manager at Moving Ahead is also a former member of the GB rowing team. She said: “Elite athletes represent a unique talent pool that is full of potential. I can say from experience that bringing my athlete’s positive mindset to work has helped me progress my career quickly. Athletes bring in diverse ways of thinking, a total commitment to the team and discipline. They can also offer motivational speaking for your organisation and become a brand ambassador you will be proud of.”

Employers are asked to come to the event with tangible opportunities such as job shadowing, an internship, mentoring or a part or full-time job. Pledges so far include six-month internships, mentoring packages and a 360° shopfloor to boardroom experience.

All athletes attending have either retired after Rio or a previous Olympics or Paralympics, or they have their sights set on Tokyo 2020 Olympics and are planning their post-sport career. The Athlete Futures careers fair has been organised by Moving Ahead on behalf of UK Sport and in conjunction with the British Olympic Association, the British Paralympic Association and the English Institute of Sport to help athletes secure a fulfilling future after their sports career ends.

Companies, organisations and education providers that would like to attend the event can contact Monica Relph at Moving Ahead on 01189 406828 or monica@moving-ahead.org.

 

Notes to Editors

1.     Press enquiries to Timma Marett at timma@moving-ahead.org or on 01189 406828 / 07901 682219.

2.     Moving Ahead works to develop leaders in business and sport through our unique athlete transition programmes that offer corporate partners the opportunity to support and learn from an elite group of people who have dedicated their lives to performing at the highest level. We also design and deliver mentoring schemes and coaching programmes for sports and business leaders, and maintain a roster of exemplary and diverse keynote speakers that includes Olympic and Paralympic athletes, explorers, business leaders and world-class MCs.

3.     The objective of the University of Stirling research was to test whether a unique population – elite athletes who have made the transition from their sport into work - have ‘employability potential’. Our initial research involved an experiment inviting employers to evaluate curricula vitae for a typical entry-level graduate position in their organisation. Results demonstrated that engagement in sport elevates evaluations of potential job candidates (http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21104). The research then compared elite athletes who had made the transition from their sport into employment with matched employees who had not participated in sport.  The results demonstrate that being an elite athlete significantly impacts employability potential by being more confident in their abilities to carry out broader roles in the workplace through, for example, being more open to organisational changes. Further, athletes reported higher levels of identifying opportunities, taking action, and persevering until they brought about meaningful change. Athletes reported higher levels of taking personal initiative to have an impact on the world around them and being more able to make changes regarding job demands and job resources. Finally, athletes were reported by their supervisors to have superior job performance in their roles compared to the matched, control participants.  All relationships between the study variables were found to be positive and significant. Self-efficacy was also found to predict job performance and the relationship is explained through employability potential.  

4.     Findings from the research showed that engaging in elite sport elevates employer evaluations of potential job candidates; elite athletes making the transition into work possess essential employability skills; employers should view elite athletes in transition as valuable resources and capitalise on their extraordinary skills to manage challenging economic times.

5.     The research was first presented at the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust More than Medals event last week. More Than Medals is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of world class athletes to our society and economy. The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust develops world class athletes beyond sport then supports them to deliver programmes that transform the lives of young people facing disadvantage.