Learn More About How the Cross-Sector Fellowship Programme Works

Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme Overview

Our Cross-Sector Fellowship Programme has been carefully designed to make it manageable alongside work and childcare.

The Leaders Plus Cross-Sector Fellowship is an award-winning 9 month career development Programme open to parents in middle management and senior leaders with significant childcare responsibilities (from babies to Primary aged children) based anywhere in the world. This is a cross sector programme open for all genders and parents can also join the Fellowship whilst on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave.

After each intake we take time to group our Fellows into small working streams depending on the country they are living in and the age of their children. Our Fellows come from a diverse range of sectors and industries and we aim to include a broad range of sectors in each stream to enhance your networking opportunities.

There are a number of different options for joining Leaders Plus as a Fellow, depending on where you are in the world and how you prefer to learn. Fellows can choose to join our online only Programme or our blended learning Programme. Find out more below.

Cristy Garratt - Leaders Plus Testimonial

Online Only Programme: Fellows who choose the online only Programme will have all of their sessions delivered virtually over the course of 9 months. We use a mix of Zoom video conferencing software and Microsoft Teams so that Fellows can easily keep in touch during their time on the Programme.

Blended Learning

Blended Learning Programme: Fellows who apply for the blended learning Programme will attend 3 longer face-to-face workshops in London or possibly Birmingham (COVID restrictions depending), all other content will be delivered virtually and will be the same as the online only Programme.


 International Programme: We are delighted to launch a global group for 2022. International group online events will be delivered at times suitable to the local timezones. Our international Fellows will have their small group sessions together but may join 3 larger events (kick off, final event and Mentor matching) jointly with the rest of the cohort.

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Sample Programme Overview for 2022

Take a look at the sample timeline below to view some of the sessions offered during the 9 months. We are proud to continuously develop and improve every Programme and there may be small changes to the schedule e.g. in 2021 we added a workload session.

You can visit our FAQs section which answers common questions about the Programme. Visit FAQs.


Leaders with Babies and Young Children Panel Launch Event (1.5 hours)

We officially welcome you to the Leaders Plus Fellowship 2022 Cohort!

Hear from high profile leaders who have combined ambitious careers with looking after small children. They will share how they have done it, what obstacles they have overcome and what they have learnt along the way.

Previous panelists have included:
Alexandra Marks OBE, Judge, and former partner at Linklaters
Will McDonald, Public Policy Director at Aviva
Karen Blackett OBE, former CEO and Chair of Mediacom
Geraldine Strathdee, Psychiatrist and former National Clinical Director for Mental Health
Poppy Jaman OBE, former CEO and founder of Mental Health First AID

Meet the Fellows (2 hours)

Get to know the other Fellows and start making life long connections!

  • We'll share everything you need to know to get the most out of your time on the Fellowship programme
  • You will be matched with another Fellow in the group ready to start pre-work on your individual strengths
  • Receive a detailed introduction to some of the methodology behind our sessions

We apply the Leaders Plus principles in all of our sessions, and a number of our workshops use an approach called the Thinking Environment which gets Fellows to think very quickly very deeply.

Mentoring Induction & Matching (2.5 hours)

Match with your mentor and learn how to get the most from your relationship.

  • We pair you with the Mentor we believe will benefit you most
  • All our Mentors have lived experience of combining a senior leadership career and raising young children
  • We select Mentors based on their commitment to supporting parents to continue to progress their careers, their willingness to support individuals and their capacity and commitment to invest in an individual
  • You will meet with your Mentor at least 3 times during the Programme

Previous Mentors have included:
Alexandra Marks, Partner at Linklaters & Judge, (listen to our podcast with Alexandra here)
Laura Harrison, former HR & Strategy Director at the CIPD and Co-Founder of the Human Change Agency (listen to our podcast here)
Jo Mosley, HR Director, Salvation Army UK
Tim Allen, Partner at PWC (listen to Tim's podcast here)

Developing Your Leadership Career as a Parent 1 (2 hours)

Build on your existing strengths and identify new strengths gained as a result of becoming a parent to hone your career and life vision. You’ll translate this into a holistic and highly practical plan to develop the career and family life you want.

Developing Your Leadership Career as a Parent 2 (2 hours)

Using latest research on barriers and enablers to career progression for parent leaders, this workshop explores practical tools you can use to accelerate in your chosen field. You will leave more able to achieve your goals within your organisational context.

Our Joint Vision for Our Career and Family Life: Joint Session With Partners (optional, two evening sessions online)

In this pioneering online series, Fellows and their partner will learn about research around partner support, will discuss their joint family and career vision and explore what support model works for their unique circumstances, both today and in the future.

Career Development 3 – Overcoming Barriers (2 hours)

The group of Fellows will coach each other to overcome barriers and work towards their goals, using a structured peer support framework.

Career Development 4 – Networks, Sponsorship and Resilience (2 hours)

Each group will explore and discuss how to manage your wellbeing in the workplace and at home, supporting long term retention and progression.

Career Development 5 – Action Planning (1.5 hours)

Fellows work with their peers to develop an action plan to achieve their vision for career and family life.

Line Manager Workshop (half day plus two guided conversations at the beginning and end of the Fellowship between Manager and Fellow)

This optional workshop for line managers will enable her/him to support leaders with caring responsibilities to thrive and excel. At the end of the workshop, they will have work together in a Fellow/Line Manager pair on how to achieve their goals.

How to Manage Your Workload

During this interactive session you will get practical strategies from a productivity expert on how to manage a high workload so that you still have time to focus on your family and career progression.

Be the Change – What’s Next?

You will come together for a final time to reflect on and celebrate the work you have done as a group of fellows. Fellows who wish to continue their professional development will be offered opportunities to continue their engagement as a group. Senior leaders from the participating organisation will be invited to hear reflections and ideas from fellows.

Bonus Sessions (Pre-Recorded)
  • How to become a trustee/non-executive director
  • How to look after your mental health and managing overwhelm
  • How to use LinkedIn and Twitter
  • For those on parental leave: how to return to work with courage
Who Can Apply For the Leaders Plus Fellowship and other FAQs

Got a question about the Fellowship?

Meet some of our Leaders Plus Fellows