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 www.leadersplus.org/newsletter
We hope you enjoy listening to our podcast and invite you to follow us on social media @leaders_plus #BigCareersSmallChildren
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.
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.
Paul Morgan-Bentley, author of The Equal Parent, shares how parenting equally means the whole family can thrive.
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.
Matthew Hayes, Vice President & Managing Director of Technology From Sage, shares how he combines life as a VP and making the school pick up.
London & Partners CEO Laura Citron shares why the Chief Executive Officer role is actually perfect for working parents.
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.
NHS Consultant Dr Jasmin Islam share practical advice on setting boundaries and asking for what you need when balancing work and parenthood.
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.
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.
Will your child start school this year? This episode is packed with practical advice and tips from ambitious working parents who have been there.
Changemaker Polly Mackenzie talks driving change within your organisation and creating powerful policies for working parents in this inspiring discussion.
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.
In this episode, Leaders Plus Senior Leader Mentor Helen Gillett shares her experience of successfully resizing jobs and finding purposeful work.
In this episode, John shares with Verena how embracing silence can help us build connections, understand others' stories, and foster a more inclusive environment.
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?
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.
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.
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-Sadler, CEO of Bookmark talks sucessfully negotiating flexible working during the recruitment process.
EMPLOYER CHANGE MAKERS: Deloitte's Global Inclusion Leader Emma Codd shares practical tips on implementing DEI strategy, including driving culture change that works.
Chief People and Culture Officer Geraldine Butler-Wright shares practical advice on how to job hunt using your network during maternity leave.
Mother and daughter Deborah Grayson Riegel and Sophie Riegel share strategies for overcoming guilt and overthinking as a working parent.
Dr Claartje Vinkenburg shares up to date research on career development in the context of promoting gender equality.
Dax Grant, CEO Global Transform, Forbes Technology Council, shares how humanizing business and finding your purpose can drive significant positive change
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.
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.
We revisit our chat with Chief People & Culture Officer Geraldine Butler-Wright who discusses career changes, selling yourself to an employer and transferable skills.
Leaders Plus Fellow Jemma Biteye interviews host Verena Hefti MBE to discuss practical ways to support the equal career progression of parents.
This International Mentoring Day Laura Harrison and Rajani Rao share what made their mentoring relationship so transformational.
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 shares the concept of Both/And Thinking, which challenges the perception that we have to choose between pursuing two things we love.
Empathy expert Anita Nowak shares how we can leverage empathy for purposeful personal, organisation and societal change.
Michelle Bradley, CEO of The Parent Rooms shares advice on overcoming burnout, dealing with postnatal depression and leading an organisation with empathy.
Social entrepreneur and author of How to Become a Changemaker, Alex Budak shares his tips for driving change for working parents in your workplace.
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 shares how working parents can be present with their children and how not to feel guilty then leaving our children for work.
Dr. Beth A Livingston shares how gender equity can’t happen without racial equity and why we need Shared Sisterhood.
Angela McConville, CEO of the NCT shares her honest reflections on motherhood, leadership and the importance of seeking progress not perfection.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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, 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.
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, 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.
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 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.
Karen Squires, an A&E Consultant from Liverpool, talks changing careers and raising young children whilst working in emergency medicine.
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 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.
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 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.
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 (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.
Ian Dinwiddy, Founder of Inspiring Dads talks making brave decisions around parenting and work and why gender equality must start 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 of bullying prevention charity Kidscape shares practical advice for dealing with bullying in the workplace and at home with our children.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Vanessa Bohns shares her tips for influencing others to say yes, especially when it comes to workplace requests.
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, 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.
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 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 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, founder of Music Football Fatherhood joins us to discuss equal parenting, masculinity and dads mental health. Plus why he’s doing things differently.
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.
This week we are joined by Gabriel Davies, Commercial Director for the global green energy company Ørsted, our 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Author and business leader Fiona McDonnell chats defining your work/life rhythm, dealing with a bad boss and finding purpose in your career.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ultra runner, small animal vet, research scientist and mother of two Jasmin Paris shares how she breaks records whilst being a mother.
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.
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.
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.
Entrepreneur Lauren Currie OBE shares practical advice on how parents can increase their visibility at work after maternity or shared parental leave.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE shares how to deal with microaggressions & unconscious bias at work & tips to become a key person of influence
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
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.
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.
Author and acclaimed speaker Avivah Wittenberg-Cox joins Verena to discuss influencing senior leaders on gender equality at work.
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 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 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.
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.
Dr Jennifer Petriglieri explains how dual-career couples can best support each other when juggling work, relationships, and homeschooling demands.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.