Big Careers, Small Children – A Podcast From Leaders Plus

Big Careers Small Children helps ambitious parents progress careers they love whilst being present with their children. Through honest and informal conversation, senior leaders divulge what they have learnt on their own journey of combining big careers with young children to our host Verena Hefti MBE.

Expect lots of aha moments, inspiration, fresh ideas, and practical support, so you can move forward in your career in a way that works for you and your family.

This podcast is hosted by our social enterprise Leaders Plus. We believe that no parent should have to choose between progressing the career they love and enjoying their young children.

Through the Big Careers, Small Children podcast and our award-winning Fellowship Programme, we have supported thousands of Leaders with young children to make brave decisions about their future. We unapologetically help more mums (and dads with significant caring responsibilities) to get to senior leadership positions, because only by helping parents to progress their career can we have true gender equality at the top and address the gender pay gap.

Be part of our positive movement for change and sign up to receive our informative monthly emails at

We hope you enjoy listening to our podcast and invite you to follow us on social media @leaders_plus #BigCareersSmallChildren


All episodes


Denise Wilson OBE on the Future of Work and women leadersEpisode 177: [Future of Work] Denise Wilson OBE How the UK is Working to Achieve Gender Balance at Board Level & What Still Needs to Change

Denise Wilson OBE, former CEO of the FTSE Women Leaders Review shares how the UK is working to achieve gender balance at board level and what still needs to change.

Episode 176: [Future of Work] Bruce Daisley – How to Reduce the Number of Meetings in Your Workplace & Change the Organisational Culture

Former Twitter VP Bruce Daisley shares how we can effectively change our workplace culture and reduce the number of meetings in our diary.

Episode 175: Rosie Hewat – How to Handle the Call Back to the Office & Tips on Requesting Flexible Working

Chief People Office Rosie Hewat shares practical advice for anyone being called back to the office, plus tips on how to position your flexible working request, including what to do if it is initially rejected.

Episode 174: Elizabeth Willetts – How to Get Your Flexible Working Request Approved & Why the Future of Work is Hybrid

Elizabeth (Liz) Willetts, CEO and Founder of Investing in Women, discusses her work advocating for the power of part-time and flexible working. Plus Liz shares her top tips for getting your flexible working request approved, including when it is best to mention flexible working during interview stages.

Episode 173: Charlotte Boujassy – How to Let Go of the Pressure of Being a Perfect Parent & Progress Your Career

Charlotte Boujassy discusses why it's so important to talk loudly about working flexibly at a senior level. Plus how to deal with the pressure of perfectionism when you're a working parent and progressing your career after you have children.

Thorey Proppe on Big Careers Small ChildrenEpisode 172: Thorey V. Proppe – How Data Can Improve DEO Policies & Help Close the Gender Pay Gap

Today we welcome Thorey V. Proppe who shares what is working for gender equality right now in Iceland, what we can learn from this success to implement in other countries and why data is the best way to improve DEI policies and help close the gender pay gap.

Big Careers, Small Children - Brita Fernandez SchmidtEpisode 171: Brita Fernandez Schmidt – How to Learn to Trust Your Intuition & Manage Your Fears

Today we're joined by Brita Fernandez Schmidt, transformational coach and author of the brilliant book Fears to Fierce to discuss how to learn to trust our own intuition, be intentional with our actions and manage our fears.

Big Careers, Small Children - Lea Henry CocoRioEpisode 170: Lea Henry - How to Manage Perfectionism When Combining a Big Career & Young Children

Lea co-founded CocoRio because she worried about the quality of childcare available. As she couldn’t keep her kids with her 24/7, she wanted to ensure their overall development and emotional well-being would be catered for.

On the podcast she shares practical advice on how she manages the competing demands of a baby, a toddler and a growing business.

Big Careers, Small Children - Polly Ogden DuffyEpisode 169: Polly Ogden Duffy - How to Progress a Senior Career in a Male-Dominated Industry & Work Flexibly

Polly Ogden Duffy, Managing Director at prime sales and lettings agency John D Wood & Co shares the advice she would give other women progressing their career, including why you don't necessarily have to 'act like a man' to move into those senior positions.

BCSC Episode 168 - Dr Ana Catalano WeeksEpisode 168: Dr. Ana Catalano Weeks - Managing Mental Load While Balancing Careers and Parenthood

In this conversation with Dr. Ana Catalano Weeks, Senior Lecturer at University of Bath, she shares her experience on how mental load can be gendered and emphasises that creating awareness is a part of the solution. With findings backed from her research. she further gives a few tips on managing mental load as working parents.

Big Careers, Small Children - Jane Green - series 11Episode 167: Jane Green - How to Approach Your Employer for Reduced Working Days and Tips on Transitioning to a Flexible Role

Leaders Plus Mentor and Former EY Partner, Jane Green shares her approach to pioneering a flexible work model in the 1990s. Jane gives her insights on approaching the employer for a flexible model and tips on transitioning to a reduced working-days role.

Big Careers, Small Children - Heather Taylor Series 11 Episode 166: Heather Taylor - How to Accelerate Your Career Whilst Balancing Life as a Parent, Learning to Take Risks & Life on the Board of Pregnant Then Screwed

Alumni of the Leaders Plus Fellowship who is also the Director of Finance and Resources for Trust for London and Trustee and Treasurer at charity Pregnant Then Screwed, Heather, advocates for reduced working days to increase productivity in the workplace and shares her risk-taking approach when it comes to accelerating her career.

 Episode 165: Sam Butters - The Benefits of being a Co-CEO & How to Navigate Morning Sickness in a Senior Role

Co-CEO of charity the Fair Education Alliance, Sam, who is a big advocate of work-life fluidity, describes how being a Co-CEO aligns perfectly when you’re a working parent, likening it to a long-term partnership akin to a marriage, with shared accountability and management responsibilities.

Big Careers, Small Children - Rachel Allison Axe + SawEpisode 164: Rachel Allison – Practical Tips for Managing Your Personal Brand & Balancing Setting Up a PR Agency & Motherhood

PR Guru Rachel Allison shares her top tips on managing your own personal brand, including how to get others to advocate for you. Plus as a new mother, Rachel shares how she balances the juggle of agency life and motherhood, including why a 4 day week works for their team.

Episode 163: Ellen Taaffe – How to Overcome Perfectionism & Master Self Promotion, Plus How to Support More Women into Senior Leadership Positions

Ellen Taaffe shares how we can break through this and overcome the gendered expectations that many women internalise and smash through the mirrored door.

Big Careers, Small Children - Daniel Astarita - Series 11Episode 162 Big Careers, Small Children: Big Careers, Small Children: Daniel Astarita – How to Combine IVF, Fatherhood & a Senior Leadership Career

Daniel Astarita, Managing Director of Kesslers, London shares his experience of combining IVF and a Leadership career.

Big Careers, Small Children - Sonia SudhakarEpisode 161 Big Careers, Small Children: Sonia Sudhakar - How to Improve Confidence & Resilience as a Senior Leader & Tips for Getting to a Director Level Role

Sonia Sudhakar, MD of Marketing and Digital at The Royal Mail Group shares her tips for improving confidence and resilience as a working parent and senior leader.

Episode 160 Big Careers, Small Children: Natasha Porter OBE – Why Being a CEO is One of the Best Jobs to Combine a Big Career and Small Children

Natasha Porter OBE, CEO of Unlocked Grads shares why being a CEO is one of the best jobs to combine a big career with small children.

Big Careers, Small Children - Dr Amy Diehl & Dr Leanne DzubinskiEpisode 159 Big Careers, Small Children: Dr. Amy Diehl & Dr. Leanne Dzubinski – Shattering the Gender Bias Barriers Still Holding Women Back at Work

Verena Hefti MBE speaks to Dr. Amy Diehl & Dr. Leanne Dzubinski who share the 6 barriers holding women back at work and why this is an organisational rather than an individual problem.

Jessica Calarco on Big Careers, Small ChildrenEpisode 158 - Jessica Calarco on Why Women Have Become a Social Safety Net & What Needs to Change

This week Verena Hefti MBE chats with Jessica Calarco, a Sociologist and Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about women's role as a social safety net and what needs to change.


Brian Ballantyne on Big Careers, Small ChildrenEpisode 156 - Brian Ballantyne on Working Fatherhood & Expectations of Masculinity

Brian discusses the challenges he has faced as a working father in a senior role, expectations of masculinity and whether training can really help change behaviour. Plus Brian shares three practical ways anyone can be an ally and advocate for working parents

Charlotte Hill OBEEpisode 155 - Charlotte Hill OBE: Being a CEO & Enjoying Your Young Children

On this special CEO Series Charlotte Hill OBE (CEO of The Felix Project) shares how it's absolutely possible to work in a senior position and raise children.

Rosie McLeod Big Careers Small ChildrenEpisode 154 - Rosie McLeod on Career Progression Gaps

Social Researcher Rosie McLeod joins Verena Hefti MBE to discuss the survey findings from the brand new Career Progression Gaps: The Next Frontier report.

Big Careers, Small Children - Janet Daby MPEpisode 153 - Janet Daby MP- How to Combine a Career as an MP with Raising Young Children

This week Janet Daby MP (Member of Parliament for Lewisham East) joins Verena Hefti MBE to discuss how she combines a big career with young children. Janet, who is a mother of 2, shares how she balances frequent evening commitments as an MP with being a present parent and what she has learned about dealing with feelings of guilt.

Episode 152 - Melissa Blissett - Gender Pay Gap: How Individuals & Employers Can Work to Close It

What is the root cause of the gender pay gap? What can we do as both individuals and employers to help close it? Following Equal Pay Day 2023 (the day in the year when - based on the gender pay gap - women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to men), Verena Hefti MBE is joined by financial wellbeing and pay gap analytics expert Melissa Blissett from UK Consultancy Barnett Waddingham to discuss the gender pay gap.

Big Careers, Small Children - Paul Morgan-BentleyEpisode 151 - Paul Morgan-Bentley - Equal Parenting & How Sharing the Load Can Help Career Progression

Paul Morgan-Bentley, author of The Equal Parent, shares how parenting equally means the whole family can thrive.

Mary Ann Sieghart Big Careers, Small ChildrenEpisode 150 - Mary Ann Sieghart - Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men

Re-release: Mary Ann Sieghart is a former The Times Senior Editor and more recently the author of a really intriguing book, The Authority Gap, which analyses why women are taken less seriously than men and what we can do about it. She joins Verena to share why it is that men and women can say the exact same thing yet it’s perceived differently, plus the latest research round gender and authority.

Big Careers, Small Children - Matthew Hayes-2{CEO Series} Episode 149 - Matthew Hayes - How to Combine CEO Life With Parenting Young Children

Matthew Hayes, Vice President & Managing Director of Technology From Sage, shares how he combines life as a VP and making the school pick up.

Big Careers, Small Children - Laura Citron{CEO Series} Episode 148 - Laura Citron - Why the CEO Role is Perfect for Working Parents

London & Partners CEO Laura Citron shares why the Chief Executive Officer role is actually perfect for working parents.


Dr Michelle Harrison - Big Careers, Small Children{CEO Series} Episode 147 - Michelle Harrison: Does Society Think That Men & Women Are Equally Suitable to Lead? Findings from the Reykjavik Index

Does society think that men and women are equally suitable to lead? Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of Kantar Public, shares findings from the Reykjavik Index.


Big Careers, Small Children - Dr Jasmin IslamEpisode 146 - Dr Jasmin Islam: How to Set Boundaries & Ask for What You Need When Balancing Career & Family

NHS Consultant Dr Jasmin Islam share practical advice on setting boundaries and asking for what you need when balancing work and parenthood.

Big Careers, Small Children - Kate Smith - CBREEpisode 145 - Kate Smith – How Small Steps Can Lead to Big Changes & Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work

Kate Smith, Executive Director - CBRE UK shares what she has learned about dealing with her own assumptions about herself on Big Careers, Small Children.

Big Careers, Small Children - Dominic Holmes Episode 144 - Dominic Holmes: How to Resize a Client Facing Role from 5 to 4 Days

Dominic is a Partner at the law firm Mischon De Reya and has successfully resized his client facing role from 5 days a week to 4 days. He shares how on this podcast.

Helen Gillett - How to build a board careerEpisode 143 - Helen Gillett: How to Build a Board Career

Independent Non-Executive Director Helen Gillett shares her tips for building a board career. Including what being a Non-Executive Director actually involves and how you can successfully work your network.

Episode 142 - Lydia Leipert & Rebecca Zöller - How to Make Job Sharing Work

Lydia Leipert and Rebecca Zöller job share a senior role at a Bavarian broadcaster and share the story of how they found each other, why job sharing can work so fantastically and how you can convince your employer to support you in a job share.

Drake Peabody on Big Careers, Small ChildrenEpisode 141 - Drake Peabody - How to Network to Support Your Career Development 

How can you network effectively in a way that supports career development? Global finance leader Drake Peabody shares practical tips on networking and why it can positively impact your career.

Karen Dillon on the Big Careers, Small Children podcastEpisode 140 - Karen Dillon - Overcoming Microstress: How Little Things Can Pile Up & Create Big Problems & What to Do About It

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and in need of some practical solutions? Karen Dillon, Author of The Microstress Effect provides solutions in this episode of Big Careers, Small Children.


Big Careers, Small Children Ashley Quinto PowellEpisode 139 - Ashley Quinto Powell - Practical Strategies for Selling Yourself When You're a Busy Working Parent 

Entrepreneur and author Ashley Quinto Powell shares practical strategies for selling yourself when you're a busy working parent, including why it's so important to have people who will mention your name in a room when you're not there.

Big Careers, Small Children - Rajani Rao and Temi OlusolaEpisode 138 - Rajani Rao & Temi Olusola - Children Starting School? Practical Advice for Ambitious Working Parents

Will your child start school this year? This episode is packed with practical advice and tips from ambitious working parents who have been there.

Polly Mackenzie on Big Careers, Small Children Episode 137 - Polly Mackenzie – How to Drive Change & Create Powerful Policies for Working Parents k

Changemaker Polly Mackenzie talks driving change within your organisation and creating powerful policies for working parents in this inspiring discussion.

Christian Uhle on the Big Careers, Small Children podcastEpisode 136 - Christian Uhle – How to Find the Meaning in Life & Work

German Philosopher Christian Uhle discusses the meaning of life and how to find meaning in life.

Episode 135 - Anne Crumley – Compassionate Leadership & Being Human at Work & How Being a Working Parent Has Changed in the Last 30 Years

This week Verena is joined by the Assistant HR Director for NHS Ayrshire and Arryn, Ann Crumley, who has over 30 years of experience working in the NHS.

Episode 134 Big Careers, Small Children: How to Move a Full Time Job to 3 or 4 Days Without Exhausting Yourself in the Process & Choosing Work Purposefully with Helen Gillett, COO, Board Member and Non-Exec Director Episode 134 - Helen Gillett – How to Move a Full Time Job to 3 or 4 Days Without Exhausting Yourself in the Process & Choosing Work Purposefully

In this episode, Leaders Plus Senior Leader Mentor Helen Gillett shares her experience of successfully resizing jobs and finding purposeful work.

Episode 133 Big Careers, Small Children: Unlocking the Power of Silence: Creating Inclusive Workplaces and Balancing Work-Life Dynamics. With John Higgins , an academic researcher and expert on speaking truth to power and workplace activisim Episode 133- John Higgins – Unlocking the Power of Silence: Creating Inclusive Workplaces and Balancing Work-Life Dynamics

In this episode, John shares with Verena how embracing silence can help us build connections, understand others' stories, and foster a more inclusive environment.

Helen Stenhouse & Alison Hilton (People Puzzles) on the Big Careers Small Children podcast Episode 132 - Helen Stenhouse & Alison Hilton (People Puzzles) – What Really Holds Employers Back From Offering Flexibility at Work & What Can Be Done About It

Our guests today are Helen Stenhouse and Alison Hilton from the HR company People Puzzles. They discuss what stops employers from offering true flexibility at work and how can we drive change in this area?

Episode 131 – Tobi Asare on How to Negotiate a Pay Rise & Avoid the Part-Time Penalty & Practical Tips to Show Your Value at Work

As the first woman in her office location to go through the maternity leave process, Tobi found herself on a steep learning curve and became interested in how mums go on to build successful careers amidst the barriers that surround working mothers.

Episode 130 – Jessica Heagren on The Careers After Babies Report & Why Businesses Are Not Holding On To Talented Women After They Have Children

Jessica Heagren, author of the groundbreaking Careers After Babies Report, discusses stark research on what really happens to women's careers after they have children.


Practical tips for parents working in the NHSEpisode 129 – Compilation Episode: Practical Tips for Parents Working in the NHS

In this special compilation episode we share the best practical tips for parents working in the NHS and combining a big career and small children.

Graihagh Crawshaw - CEO Booksmart

Episode 128 - Graihagh Crawshaw-Sadler – Negotiating Flexible Working During the Recruitment Process & Managing Emails On Your Day Off

Graihagh Crawshaw-Sadler, CEO of Bookmark talks sucessfully negotiating flexible working during the recruitment process.

Emma Codd, DeloitteEpisode 127 – Emma Codd, Global Inclusion Leader, Deloitte, on DEI Strategy & Implementing Culture Change That Works

EMPLOYER CHANGE MAKERS: Deloitte's Global Inclusion Leader Emma Codd shares practical tips on implementing DEI strategy, including driving culture change that works.

Geraldine Butler-WrightEpisode 126 – Geraldine Butler-Wright - How to Job Hunt Using Your Network & Making Those First 100 Days in a New Role Count Whilst Making Time for Self-Care

Chief People and Culture Officer Geraldine Butler-Wright shares practical advice on how to job hunt using your network during maternity leave.

Deb & Sophie ReigelEpisode 125 – Deb & Sophie Riegel - Strategies for Overcoming Guilt & Over Thinking as a Working Parent & How to Ask for Help

Mother and daughter Deborah Grayson Riegel and Sophie Riegel share strategies for overcoming guilt and overthinking as a working parent.

Dr Claartje VinkenburgEpisode 124 – Employer Change Makers - Dr Claartje Vinkenburg on Diversity & Inclusion in Careers

Dr Claartje Vinkenburg shares up to date research on career development in the context of promoting gender equality.

Dax GrantEpisode 123 – Humanising Business & Leading Positive Change

Dax Grant, CEO Global Transform, Forbes Technology Council, shares how humanizing business and finding your purpose can drive significant positive change

Adi Sengupta - Common PurposeEpisode 122 – Leading Across Boundaries, Finding Your Purpose & Travelling Internationally for Work When You Have a Young Family

Adi Sengupta, Group CEO of Common Purpose shares her thoughts on leading across boundaries, finding your purpose and travelling internationally for work when you have kids.

Big Careers, Small Children - Dr Tom Bashford and Catherine MugeEpisode 121 – How to Navigate Shared Parental Leave as a Dual Career Couple

Dr Tom Bashford and Catherine Muge share their two experiences of Shared Parental Leave, as well as their views on the importance of role modelling equality for their sons.


Geraldine Butler-WrightEpisode 120 – Thinking About a Career Change?

We revisit our chat with Chief People & Culture Officer Geraldine Butler-Wright who discusses career changes, selling yourself to an employer and transferable skills.

BCSC - Jemma Biteye & Verena Hefti MBE Episode 119 – Practical Tips for Working Parents: Equal Career Progression

Leaders Plus Fellow Jemma Biteye interviews host Verena Hefti MBE to discuss practical ways to support the equal career progression of parents.

Episode 118 – How to Navigate a Demanding Career & IVF

Joanna Santinon bravely shares her fertility journey, including how she combined multiple rounds of IVF with her demanding career.

Mentoring Special - Laura Harrison Rajani Rao Big Careers Small ChildrenEpisode 117 – What it Takes to Make a Mentoring Relationship Transformational

This International Mentoring Day Laura Harrison and Rajani Rao share what made their mentoring relationship so transformational.

Professor Tina MillerEpisode 116 – How to Share Primary Caring Responsibilities Equally & Addressing the Issue of Female Dominated Caring

Professor Tina Miller shares how the responsibility for orchestrating the care of children often falls to mothers and what we can do to share caring responsibilities.

Wendy K Smith - BCSCEpisode 115 – Both/And Thinking – Why We Don’t Need to Choose Between Two Things We Love

Wendy K Smith shares the concept of Both/And Thinking, which challenges the perception that we have to choose between pursuing two things we love.

Anita NowakEpisode 114 – How Can We Leverage Empathy for Personal, Organisational & Social Change

Empathy expert Anita Nowak shares how we can leverage empathy for purposeful personal, organisation and societal change.

Michelle Bradley - Overcoming Burnout

Episode 113 – How to Overcome Burnout as a Busy Working Mother & Leading an Organisation with Empathy

Michelle Bradley, CEO of The Parent Rooms shares advice on overcoming burnout, dealing with postnatal depression and leading an organisation with empathy.

Alex Budak - Changemakers

Episode 112 – How to Have a Changemaker Mindset & Lead Change for Working Parents in Your Organisation

Social entrepreneur and author of How to Become a Changemaker, Alex Budak shares his tips for driving change for working parents in your workplace.

Lou Conran - TFMR

Episode 111 – How to Deal With a Termination for Medical Reasons & Cope With Loss When You Also Need to Work

Comedian Lou Conran shares her story of Termination for Medical Reasons (TFMR) and how to cope with loss when you have to be funny for work.

Dr Martha Deiros Collado

Episode 110 – How to Be Present With Your Children at Home & Not Feel Guilty About Leaving Them When at Work

Dr Martha Deiros Collado shares how working parents can be present with their children and how not to feel guilty then leaving our children for work.

Episode 109 – Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial & Gender Equity at Work, Plus Tips on Spousal Negotiation

Dr. Beth A Livingston shares how gender equity can’t happen without racial equity and why we need Shared Sisterhood.

Angela McConville - CEO NCT

Episode 108 – Motherhood, Leadership & the Importance of Seeking Progress Not Perfection

Angela McConville, CEO of the NCT shares her honest reflections on motherhood, leadership and the importance of seeking progress not perfection.

Veronica Hope Hailey - Big Careers, Small Children

Episode 107 -How to Build Trust At Work, Especially When Working Flexibly

Trust expert Veronica Hope Hailey shares useful insights and practical tips on fostering trust in the workplace, particularly if you’re working (or hoping to work) flexibly.

Verena Hefti MBE Leaders Plus CEO

Bonus Episode (106) – Finding a High Quality Mentor

In this special episode to celebrate National Mentoring Day, Verena Hefti MBE shares her experiences and reflections of finding a senior leader Mentor.

Dhivya O'Connor - Podcast

Episode 105 – What it Takes to Become a Charity CEO When You’re a Parent, Moving from the Corporate to the Charity Sector & How to Find an Excellent Mentor

Dhivya O’Connor chats to Verena Hefti MBE about what it takes to become a charity CEO when you’re a parent. The reality of moving from the corporate sector to the charity sector and what to do to get a high quality Mentor when you need it most.

CNN Clarissa Ward

Episode 104 -Reporting From the Front Line When You Have Children, Making Peace With the Mother You Are Not & Embracing the Mother You Are

Clarissa Ward is a multi-award-winning war reporter and Chief International Correspondent for CNN. For over 15 years Clarissa has been reporting from front lines around the world, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Now a mother of two young boys aged 2 and 4, Clarissa juggles life on the front line with raising her young family.

Prof Roz Shafran

Episode 103 – How to Cope When Your Child is Unwell, Has Additional Needs or is Going Through a Challenging Time

Parenthood can often be far from smooth sailing, especially if your child is unwell, experiencing challenges or has additional needs. So how can parents juggling work and raising their family ensure they look after their own mental health and thrive during these difficult times?

Dr Lisa Grover

Episode 102 How to Prepare for Pay Negotiations – Dr. Lisa Grover

In practice, there’s always a bit of wriggle room for individual discussions and negotiations about pay says pay expert Dr. Lisa Grover. She shares her tips on this week’s podcast.

Lucy McAuliffe

Episode 101 – Lucy McAuliffe -Progressing Your Career When You Have Premature Twins, Moving from 2 to 3 Children & Dealing With Assumptions When in a Same-Sex Couple

How can you juggle your senior career when your children are born prematurely? Our guest this week is Lucy McAuliffe, Stations and Security Director at Network Rail and parent to 5-year-old twins and a 16-month toddler.

Kate Jarman - Flex NHS

Episode 100 – Kate Jarman – Building a Movement for Change in Flexible Working & Being Your Authentic Self at Work

Kate Jarman, Co-Founder of Flex NHS joins us to discuss flexible working in the NHS and why this is a retention as well as a recruitment issue.

Dr Christian Busch

Episode 99 – Dr. Christian Busch – How to Create Your Own Good Luck & Cultivate Serendipity

This week on Big Careers, Small Children best-selling author Dr. Christian Busch shares how we can create our own good luck and cultivate serendipity, both in our personal and professional lives.

Nadia Bunyan - Global Witness

Episode 98 – Nadia Bunyan: How to Progress Your Career Internally, Choose Your Employer Wisely & Balance International Travel Whilst Raising a Family

Nadia Bunyan, HR Director at Global Witness shares her insight on progressing your career internally, including how to choose your employer wisely and balance international travel whilst raising a young family.


Big Careers Small Children - Working Parent Guilt

Episode 97 – Compilation Episode: Letting Go of Working Parent Guilt

This week on Big Careers, Small Children we are revisiting some of the best tips shared by our previous guests around guilt and learning to let it go.

Kami Norland

Episode 96 – Kami Norland – How to Lead With Compassion, Build Trust & Create Compassionate Organisations

Kami Norland is a national and international speaker, facilitator and CEO of Integrative Re-Sources. In this episode, we chat about compassionate leadership and how it’s not only possible but essential to create compassionate organisations.

Episode 95 – Karen Squires – From Hairdresser to A&E Consultant: Progressing a Career in Emergency Medicine Whilst Raising a Young Family

Karen Squires, an A&E Consultant from Liverpool, talks changing careers and raising young children whilst working in emergency medicine.

Big Careers Small Children - Tips for Working Couples

Episode 94 – Compilation Episode: The Best Tips for Working Couples

In this special compilation episode of Big Careers, Small Children we share the best tips from our previous guests for working couples who are juggling dual careers.

Alice Kan - Kan Do Ventures

Episode 93 – Alice Kan – Directing the AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Roll Out Whilst Balancing Family Commitments

Alice Kan is the Pharmaceutical Director at Kan Do Ventures and one of the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering. In this episode,  Alice shares what she has learned from managing the vaccine roll out whilst balancing her family commitments, including raising two teenage children.

Wendy Merricks CEO, The Jumar Group

Episode 91 – Wendy Merricks – How to Work Full Time as a Parent and Not Feel Guilty

Wendy Merricks, CEO & Founder at Jumar shares her advice for working full time as a parent and not feeling guilty.

Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

Episode 90 – Guy Duncan-Neale – How to Have a Big Career, be Present with Your Kids and Work ‘Normal’ Hours

Guy Duncan Neale, Head of Global Internal Audit Transformation at HSBC, talks progressing your senior career in banking whilst working ‘normal’ hours and being present with your children.

Suzy Reading Expert in Self Care

Episode 89 – Suzy Reading – Self Care for Busy Working Parents, How to Make Self Care a Daily Practice & Tips for Boosting Your Energy During Moments of Overwhelm

Suzy Reading knows the science behind well being and shares how, as busy working parents, we can look after ourselves when under pressure without feeling like it’s something else we need to tick on our to-do list.

Dr Christina Venzin Big Careers, Small Children

Episode 88 – Dr. Christina Venzin – Coming Back From a Career Break, Progressing Your Career When Other People Tell You Not to & Why it’s Okay to Change Your Priorities

Gender equality change maker Dr. Christina Venzin talks careers breaks and why it’s okay to change priorities and come back to what you love.

Laurie Weingart - The No Club

Episode 87 – Laurie Weingart – Learn How to Say No, Why Saying No is Crucial for Promotion & Tips for Identifying Your Non-Promotable Tasks

Laurie Weingart (co-author of the No Club) shares her expert advice on how we can all make small, yet significant changes to our workload without stalling our careers or facing backlash for saying no.

Episode 86 – Ian Dinwiddy – Supporting Dads to Make Brave Decisions, Removing Barriers Around Shared Parental Leave & Why Gender Equality at Home Influences Work

Ian Dinwiddy, Founder of Inspiring Dads talks making brave decisions around parenting and work and why gender equality must start at home.

Steph Douglas Don't Buy Her Flowers

Episode 85 – Steph Douglas – Growing a Successful Business as a Parent, Challenging Expectations, Safe Guarding Time to Think and Equality at Home

Steph Douglas, Founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers, talks starting a business whilst raising children, equality in the home and challenging expectations.

Lauren Seager Smith CEO Kidscape

Episode 84 – Lauren Seager-Smith – Practical Tips to Help With Bullying, the Dual Challenge of Caring for Kids & Older Parents & Why We All Need Circles of Support

Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO of bullying prevention charity Kidscape shares practical advice for dealing with bullying in the workplace and at home with our children.

Amy Gibbs Leaders Plus Fellow CEO Birthrights

Episode 83 – Amy Gibbs – Becoming a CEO, Working 4 Days a Week, Setting Boundaries & Prioritising Self Care

Amy Gibbs, CEO of the charity Birthrights, discusses working 4 days a week in a senior role, burn out and the importance of self-care.

Carlotta Negri di Sanfront

Episode 82 – Carlotta Negri di Sanfront – Being Present With Your Kids When You Have a High Profile Career

giffgaff’s Chief Product and Design Officer Carlotta Negri di SanFront talks about being present with your children when you have a senior career and deciding when to have a baby.

Mary Ann Sieghart - The Authority Gap

Episode 81 – Mary Ann Sieghart – Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men & What to do About It

Our guest today is Mary Ann Sieghart.  Mary is a former The Times Senior Editor and more recently the author of a really intriguing book, The Authority Gap, which analyses why women are taken less seriously than men and what we can do about it.


Vanessa Bohns - Big Careers Small Children

Episode 80 – How to Influence Others to Say Yes, Why You Have More Power Than You Think & Learning How to Reframe Rejection

Professor Vanessa Bohns shares her tips for influencing others to say yes, especially when it comes to workplace requests.

Claire Ferreira Mums in Marketing

Episode 79 – Practical Tips for Beating Imposter Syndrome & Dealing with Confidence Dips

Mums in Marketing Founder Claire Ferreira shares how after having children her confidence at work dipped. This episode is packed with tips for beating imposter syndrome, plus why all working parents need to find their tribe.

Dr. Heejung Chung - The Flexibility Paradox

Episode 78 – Why Flexible Working Can lead to Self Exploitation, Especially for Women

Dr. Heejung Chung, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Kent and the author of The Flexibility Paradox joins Verena to discuss why flexible working can lead to self-exploitation, especially for female workers.

Jane Galloway - Head of Flexible Learning NHS England

Episode 77 – How to Successfully Request Flexible Working, Juggling Two Careers, Finding Your Tribe & Silencing Your Inner Critic

This week Verena is joined by NHS England Head of Flexible Working and Founder of Quiet The Hive Jane Galloway to discuss all things flexible working.

Vicky Fox, CEO of the Supreme Court

Episode 76 – Becoming a CEO, Working Flexibly & Making Brave Career Decisions

Vicky Fox, CEO of The Supreme Court shares her experience combining a senior leadership career and motherhood. Including why working part-time doesn’t mean you’re partly committed and how you can succeed even when you’re not sure of yourself.

Jane Beeston - Chief People Officer, Colart

Episode 75 – Being a Parent Positively Impacted My Senior Leadership Career, Imposter Syndrome & Bringing Your Whole Self to Work

Jane Beeston, Chief People Officer at Colart discusses how being a parent positively impacted her senior leadership career, how to deal with imposter syndrome and why it’s important we bring our whole self to work.

Elliott Rae - Music Football Fatherhood

Episode 74 – Equal Parenting, Masculinity & Dads Mental Health

Elliott Rae, founder of Music Football Fatherhood joins us to discuss equal parenting, masculinity and dads mental health. Plus why he’s doing things differently.

The Job Share Pair - Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

Episode 73 – Everything You Need to Know About Job Sharing

Our guests this week on the Big Careers, Small Children podcast are Hannah Hall-Turner and Rachel Maguire, otherwise known as The Job Share Pair. They share everything you need to know about job sharing.

Gabriel Davies - Orsted - Big Careers, Small Children Podcast

Episode 72 – Why Ambition Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word

This week we are joined by Gabriel Davies, Commercial Director for the global green energy company Ørstedour discussion focuses on ambition and why this shouldn’t be a dirty word but in fact is something to be celebrated by working parents.

Sharath Jeevan

Episode 71 – Finding your Inner Drive and Purpose

Sharath Jeevan, an expert when it comes to motivation and purpose and the best-selling author of Intrinsic, shares a practical guide to re-igniting the inner-drive (or intrinsic motivation) in our lives.

Episode 70 – Compilation Episode: Finding a Job With Purpose

We’ve dived back into the podcast archives to bring you the very best tips on finding a job with purpose. Featuring Carla Maurer, Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE and Kath Austin.

Big Careers Small Children - 69

Episode 69 – Compilation Episode: The Best Tips for Managing Workload, Mental Health and Well Being

Something a little different for this week’s podcast as we are diving into the archives to bring you some of the very best tips around managing workload and supporting your mental health and wellbeing from popular previous episodes.

Episode 68 – Sharing the Mental Load & Finding Time For Your Partner

Verena Hefti speaks to relationship expert Catherine O’Brien, the author of Happy With Baby, about sharing the mental load and thriving in your relationship.

Episode 67 – Defining Your Work/Life Rhythm, Dealing With a Bad Boss & Finding Purpose in Your Career

Author and business leader Fiona McDonnell chats defining your work/life rhythm, dealing with a bad boss and finding purpose in your career.

Sylvia Opara - Big Careers, Small Children

Episode 66 – Dealing With Inappropriate Workplace Behaviour, Thriving in a Male Dominated Industry & Progressing Your Career When You Want a Big Family

Verena Hefti speaks to Group HR Director in the Construction Industry Sylvia Opara for her tips on thriving in a male dominated industry and progressing your career when you want a big family.

Episode 65 – Equal Pay & Practical Tips for Securing the Pay Rise You Deserve Claudia T Miller

Senior Executive Coach and expert on all things pay, Claudia T Miller joins Verena to share practical tips on getting the pay rise you deserve, plus a discussion on equal pay.

Episode 64 – Career ChangesGeraldine Butler Wright Healthily

Does your career make you feel alive? Geraldine Butler-Wright joins Verena to discuss why our careers should energise us and how you can successfully change your career, including transferring between sectors.

Episode 63 – Diverse NetworkingLee Higgins Falcon Brook Diverse Recruitment

Former headhunter and co-founder of DIVERSE TALENT netWORKS Lee Higgins is back on the podcast to share his best tips for diverse networking. Including how to ensure you cultivate connections who aren’t just like you, plus how to virtually network strategically.

Episode 62 – Building Exceptional RelationshipsCarole Robin

Carole Robin Ph.D is Co-Founder of Leaders in Tech, she also taught Interpersonal Dynamics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is the co-author of the highly acclaimed Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends and Colleagues. Here she discusses how to build relationships and connect with others.

Flora LetankaEpisode 61 – Being an Exec Director Whilst Having Young Children

Flora Letanka is Executive Director for Network Development at Teach First, the largest educational charity in the UK. She is also a mum of three. Here she speaks to Verena Hefti, Leaders Plus CEO and Founder, about being an Exec Director whilst having young children.

Michael Baran InquestEpisode 60 -Tackling Subtle Acts of Exclusion

Michael is a Senior Partner and the Digital Solutions Lead at inQUEST.  He drives organizations toward innovative, evidence-based diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions. Here he talks to Leaders Plus CEO and Founder, Verena Hefti, about tackling subtle acts of exclusion.

Verena Hefti, Founder and CEO at Leaders PlusEpisode 59 – Exceptional Performance in Challenging Circumstances

Katie is one of the UK’s leading Performance Psychologists, working behind the scenes and on the big stage with some of the world’s best athletes, leaders and organisations. Here she speaks to Verena Hefti, Leaders Plus CEO and Founder, about how to achieve exceptional performance in challenging circumstances.

Verena Hefti, Founder and CEO at Leaders PlusEpisode 58 – Honest Reflections on Career Ambitions and Insight into the Fellowship

In this episode Verena Hefti, CEO and Founder of Leaders Plus, talks to three Leaders Plus Fellows about their honest reflections on career and ambitions, including failures and setting boundaries.

Carla MaurerEpisode 57 – Finding Purpose and Setting Boundaies

In this episode Reverend Carla Maurer of the Swiss Church in London discusses developing purpose, how to set boundaries and offers top tips for prioritising yourself.

Verena Hefti, Founder and CEO at Leaders PlusEpisode 56 – Getting the Most Out of Your Maternity Leave

Verena Hefti, CEO and Founder of the social enterprise Leaders Plus, shares her top tips for making the most of maternity leave


Lucy Waker - NED positionsEpisode 55 – Becoming a Non-Executive Director & Diversity on Boards

Lucy Walker shares her tips for becoming a Non-Executive Director, including how to write your CV for a NED role and why boards need more diversity.

Kim Rowell - BBC News - Leaders With Babies Podcast Episode 54 – Returning to Work & Things I’d Tell My Pregnant Self

In this special episode produced by some of our Leaders Plus Fellows, BBC Three & BBC News Assistant Editor Kim Rowell is interviewed by journalist Kirstie Brewer about motherhood and work.

Michele Zanini HumanocracyEpisode 53 – Making the Workplace More Human-Centred

Michele Zanini, co-author of Humancracy shares simple steps we can each take to make our workplaces less bureaucratic and more human-centered.

Michelle Mitchell CEO Cancer Research UK Charity CEOEpisode 52 – Being a Charity CEO Whilst Raising a Young Family

Michelle Mitchell OBE, CEO of Cancer Research UK shares how she progressed her career in the charity sector, whilst raising a young family. Plus what Cancer Research UK are doing to support parents with work and home life balance during the pandemic.

Jasmin Paris Ultra Runner and Mother on the Leaders With Babies podcastEpisode 51 – Can You Perform Exceptionally Well When You Have a Baby? Breaking Records Whilst Being a Mother

Ultra runner, small animal vet, research scientist and mother of two Jasmin Paris shares how she breaks records whilst being a mother.

Lee Higgins Falcon Brook Diverse RecruitmentEpisode 50 – Everything You Need to Know Before Applying for a Senior Role

Headhunter Lee Higgins from Falcon Brook Search shares everything you need to know before applying for a senior leadership role, plus why diversity in recruitment really matters.

Jessica Chivers CEO - The Talent Keeper Specialists on the Leaders With Babies podcastEpisode 49 – Career Progression in Part-time Roles

Author and psychologist Jessica Chivers shares practical advice for progressing your career whilst working in a part-time role. Including why Wednesday might be the best day off to take during the week.


Verena Hefti - Why I started Leaders PlusEpisode 48 – Starting a Social Enterprise Whilst Bringing Up Babies

This week the interviewer becomes the interviewee! Our CEO and Founder Verena Hefti, the host of our Leaders With Babies podcast is interviewed by Leaders Plus Fellow and BBC journalist Kirstie Brewer. Verena shares her personal story of combining a senior leadership career with young children and why she set up our award-winning social enterprise.

Lauren Currie OBE Leaders With BabiesEpisode 47 – How to Increase Your Visibility at Work

Entrepreneur Lauren Currie OBE shares practical advice on how parents can increase their visibility at work after maternity or shared parental leave.

Leaders With Babies Podcast - Instagram Guest Tile - Primary School TransitionsEpisode 46 – How to Prepare for the Primary School Transition

Is your first child about to start school? Are you nervous about how you’ll manage this important transition alongside juggling work? In this special episode of Leaders With Babies our Fellows share their essential advice on ensuring a smooth transition.

Dr Funke Abimbola MBEEpisode 45 – Allyship, Dealing with Microaggressions & Being a Confident Speaker

Dr Funke Abimbola MBE shares her experience of race, dealing with microaggressions and unconscious bias at work, allyship, and finally, what it takes to be an excellent public speaker on this week’s Leaders With Babies Podcast.

James Lloyd, HR Director, Changing People's Minds on Flexible WorkingEpisode 44 – Changing People’s Minds on Flexible Working 

HR Director James Lloyd was initially phased by flexible working requests but has now completely changed his mind. Listen now to hear what works when it comes to positioning your own flexible work requests.

Episode 43 – How to Find a Sponsor to Progress Your Career

Leaders Plus Mentors Fiona Jackson and Radhika Baja share how having a sponsor benefitted their career. Including lots of practical advice for working parents on how to find, manage and leverage a sponsor to help career progression.

Laura Harrison - Leaders With BabiesEpisode 42 – How to Reduce Your Hours Successfully, Including Reducing Accountability

HR Director Laura Harrison returns to offer practical advice for anyone looking to reduce their working hours, including how successfully reduce your hours down to 3 or 4 days and how to ensure you don’t end up still working full time for less pay.

Becky Maxwell - Leaders With Babies Podcast - Emergency MedicineEpisode 41 – Working in Emergency Medicine, Leading in a Crisis & Dealing with Uncertainty

Emergency Medicine Consultant Becky Maxwell successfully juggles a busy career at the hospital with raising her 2-year-old son. She shares how she deals with uncertainty, leads in a crisis as well as her tips for influencing senior leaders.

Lori Mihalich-Levin - Returning to work more mindfully and managing life transitionsEpisode 40 – Returning to Work Mindfully & Managing Key Transitions

US-based lawyer Lori Mihalich-Levin shares how we can return to work mindfully after having a baby, plus practical advice on coping with important life transitions.

Rebecca Seal - How to work from home and not lose your mindEpisode 39 – How to Work From Home Alone and Not Lose Your Mind!

Author Rebecca Seal share how to thrive when working from home alone, including how to set boundaries successfully and why working long hours actually damages your productivity.

Chris Bryant talks working part time in a senior role on the Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 38 – Working Part-Time in a Senior Role, Getting Paid Fairly & Learning to Say No!

Legal trailblazer Chris Bryant shares how he makes working 3 days a week as a partner at the international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner work for his family, including how to negotiate part-time pay and why it’s important we all learn how to say ‘no’ when necessary.

Episode 37 – Driving Change & Structural Inequalities

Political activist and change maker Sophie Walker shares how to drive change in your workplace & advice on dealing with structural inequalities as a working mother.

Motherhood, Work & Identity - Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 36 – Motherhood, Work & Identity

This week on the podcast we share an honest discussion on motherhood, work, and identity with 3 of our Leaders Plus Fellows.

Professor Shani Orgad LSE on Leaders With BabiesEpisode 35 – Why Mothers Leave the Workforce & What We Can Learn From It & Making Structural Changes at Work

Professor Shani Orgad shares her research on why mothers leave the workplace, including what we can learn from it, plus how to make structural changes at your place of work.

Episode 34 – How to Deal With Micro-aggressions & Unconscious Bias at Work & Tips to Become a Key Person of Influence

This week Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE shares how to deal with microaggressions & unconscious bias at work & tips to become a key person of influence

Dom Holmes - Head of Employment Taylor Vintners talks Flexible WorkingEpisode 33 – How to Work Part-Time in a Senior Client Facing Role & How to Make Smart Career Choices Based on Your Values

Taylor Vinters Head of Employment Law Dom Holmes shares how to work part-time in a senior client-facing role and how to make smart career choices based on your values

Alex Pang - Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 32 – How to Get More Done By Working Less & Convincing Your Employer on the Benefits of a 4 Day Week

Our guest this week is Alex Pang who shares how we can get more done by working less, as well as how to persuade your employer on the benefits of a 4-day working week or shorter working hours.

Leaders With Babies Avivah Wittenberg CoxEpisode 31 – How to Increase Your Impact Without Increasing Your Workload & Why Your 40s & 50s Might be Your Best Decades at Work

Part 2 of our insightful discussion with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, including how to let go of perfectionism, balance your workload and why your choice of partner might just be criical to your career success.

Leaders With Babies Avivah Wittenberg CoxEpisode 30 – Gender Balance at Work: How to Convince Senior Leaders Who Don’t Care About Gender Equality to Take Action to Support Parents

Author and acclaimed speaker Avivah Wittenberg-Cox joins Verena to discuss influencing senior leaders on gender equality at work.

Dr Maja Korica Leaders With BabiesEpisode 29 – How to Network Virtually & Increase Your Visibility With Senior Leaders

We welcome back Dr Maja Korica who delves even further into what it takes to get ahead at work in the context of the new socially distanced, virtual environment. Listen now for practical tips you can implement today.

Dr Maja Korica Leaders With BabiesEpisode 28 – How to Get Senior Leaders to Really Listen, Finding a Sponsor & Tips for Career Progression

Dr Maja Korica shares advice on how to get senior leaders to really listen to you, plus tips on finding a sponsor and networking to progress your career.

Dr Sue Black OBE Tech Mums on Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 27 – How to Shape the Career You Want, Tips to Get Promoted & Women in Tech

Dr Sue Black OBE is a passionate advocate for more #womenintech. She shares her remarkable and often inspiring story, offering plenty of practical advice you can apply to your own career today.

Episode 26 – How to Know Your Worth, Challenge Prejudices & Lead Authentically & Why Chickens Are Critical To Lockdown

Charity leader Anita Kerwin-Nye gives expert advice on going freelance and charging what you’re worth, challenging prejudices in the workplace and how to lead authentically in the Charity Sector, plus why chickens have been critical to her family’s lockdown experience.

Jennifer Petriglieri Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 25 – Surviving Lockdown! How Working Couples Can Thrive Whilst Juggling Careers & Home Schooling During Times of Crisis

Dr Jennifer Petriglieri explains how dual-career couples can best support each other when juggling work, relationships, and homeschooling demands.

Dr Suhana Ahmed Crisis ManagementEpisode 24 – How to Lead in a Crisis and why Biscuits and Handcream are Essential

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Suhana Ahmed, who has been on the frontline of the Coronavirus Pandemic, shares practical advice on how to lead a team during a crisis, plus why small acts of kindness can make all the difference during the hard times.

Dr Rosie Campbell Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 23 – The Impact of Covid-19 on Parents, Gender Equality & Career Progression

Professor Rosie Campbell joins Verena to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality at work, including the potential negative impact of Lockdown on working mothers and the importance of evaluating performance during the crisis fairly.

Paul Fisher - Leaders With Babies Podcast Episode 22 – The Art of Negotiation: How to ask for a Pay Rise & Request Flexible Working

This week our guest Paul Fisher, an expert in negotiation, shares the latest thinking on the art of negotiation and persuasion, including top tips on how to secure a pay rise or get your flexible working request approved.

Verena Hefti, Founder and CEO at Leaders PlusEpisode 21 – Managing Workload Panel Discussion

Hear expert advice on how to tackle your own workload from our panel of experts, plus strategies to cope during the pandemic and advice to ensure your career can flourish in the future.


Dr. Martha Deiros Collado shares how to talk to children about coronavirus Episode 20 – Dr Martha Deiros Collado

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Martha Deiros Collado joins us with expert advice on how to explain coronavirus (Covid-19) to your toddler, preschooler or primary schooler.

Alexandra Marks CBE, LinkLaters Partner on Leaders With BabiesEpisode 19 – Alexandra Marks CBE

Alexandra Marks CBE, Deputy High Court Judge and Retired Partner at Linklaters, talks maternal instinct, societal expectations and balancing a magic circle law career with a young family.

Kath Austin, BeeBee Wraps Leaders With BabiesEpisode 18 – Kath Austin

CEO and founder of Bee Bee Wraps Kath Austin shares what it takes to start your own business, including how she juggles her successful start-up with raising her two girls.

Sam Bethune Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 17 – Sam Bethune

This week Verena chats to Sam Bethune who, along with her job share partner, spearheaded the Flexible Working Network at HSBC. This episode is packed with actionable advice on finding a job share and working flexibly.

Jennifer Petriglieri Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 16 – Jennifer Petriglieri

Our guest this week is author Jennifer Petriglieri who shares how dual career couples can thrive at home and in work. Plus there’s practical advice on the top 3 things listeners can do today to strengthen the positive impact of your relationship on your career.

Ruth and Colin Stuart Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 15 – Ruth and Colin Stuart

This week Verena chats to our first ever couple, Ruth and Colin Stuart, who candidly share the behind the scenes of their family life juggling two ambitious careers and making work work around their young daughter.

Leaders With Babies Featuring Mother Pukka Anna WhitehouseEpisode 14 – Mother Pukka

This week Verena is joined by Anna Whitehouse otherwise known as Mother Pukka, to chat campaigning for flexible working, miscarriage and the realities of working with your partner.

Laura Harrison - Leaders With BabiesEpisode 13 – Laura Harrison

This week Verena is joined by Laura Harrison, a former HR Director for a candid discussion on balancing your love for work and your love for your children, including how to build relationships when you haven’t got time and what really happens behind closed doors when you submit a flexible working request.

Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England, Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 12 – Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE

In episode 12 Verena is joined by Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE, the former National Clinical Director of Mental Health for NHS England, to talk mental health, having purpose and staying true to your values when progressing your career.

Tim Allen Shared Parental Leave PWCEpisode 11 – Tim Allen

In the first episode of Series 2 Verena chats to Tim Allen from PWC, a pioneer in taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL). They chat practicalities of SPL, including how to ensure you don’t miss out when it comes to future appraisals and pay rises.


Poppy Jaman OBE‏ Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 10 – Poppy Jaman OBE

In the final episode of Season 1, Poppy Jaman OBE talks overcoming workload overwhelm and creating mentally healthy workplaces, as well as the importance of managing your own wellbeing and mental health.

Leaders With Babies Podcast Tanya StevensEpisode 9 – Tanya Stevens

Tanya Stevens joins Verena this week to talk about her role as a headhunter and recruiting into roles flexibly, including the best time to mention flexible working when applying for a new position.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chairman Hotels Energy BoardEpisode 8 – Ufi Ibrahim

This week Verena is joined by joined by Ufi Ibrahim, Chair of the Hotels Energy Board and former CEO of the British Hospitality Association. Ufi shares her experience navigating single parenthood at a young age; why she never stops studying and how she developed the resilience and ambition to succeed whilst raising her son and progressing her career.

Susannah Hardyman CEO and Founder of Action Tutoring and Leaders Plus FellowEpisode 7 – Susannah Hardyman

This week Leaders Plus Fellow and CEO of Action Tutoring Susannah Hardyman discusses miscarriage, managing workload, negotiating a pay rise and how to make a busy CEO job work in 4 days a week.

Prof Dame Jane Dacre - Leaders With Babies Podcast Episode 6 – Prof Dame Jane Dacre

Prof Dame Jane Dacre joins Verena to share her experience of the first-ever general medicine job share, plus there’s discussion on leadership and gender in the NHS, including the gender pay gap review.

Leaders With Babies - Nick Wilkie CEO NCTEpisode 5 – Nick Wilkie

Nick Wilkie, CEO at the NCT joins Verena to discuss his career break, judgement of parents and how to get a CEO job after taking a year out with the kids.

Dame Helena Morrissey Leaders With Babies PodcastEpisode 4 – Dame Helena Morrissey

Dame Helena Morrissey, a financier, author, wife and mother of nine joins Verena to share the highlights of her fascinating senior leadership career.

Elizabeth Emens Professor of Law Columbia Law SchoolEpisode 3 – Elizabeth Emens

Professor of Law and author of the brilliant book ‘The Art of Life Admin’, Elizabeth Emens joins Verena Hefti to share her top tips for managing the spiral of day-to-day tasks that can often overwhelm and exhaust us.

Hannah Essex - British Chamber of Commerce and Leaders Plus FellowEpisode 2 – Hannah Essex

Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director at the British Chamber of Commerce joins Verena to discuss the benefits of job sharing whilst raising her young family.

Dr Susie Minson Paediatric Consultant and Leaders Plus Fellow Episode 1 – Dr Susie Minson 

Consultant Paediatrician and busy mum Dr Susie Minson joins Verena to discuss her biggest learning points when combining a thriving leadership career in the NHS with raising her 3 young children.

Find Out More About the Fellowship

Meet Our Founder, Verena Hefti MBE