Women Of Our Time (WOOT)is our global community specifically for women which arose from our desire to create real change in the gender landscape and to help one million women have the freedom to breathe. This is the guiding purpose that drives the values of our consultancy.
A community to provide a place where like-minded women, of any age, background, experience, roles, and sectors can find help, support, inspiration, confidence, knowledge, and fun. It will have no boundaries on who it is for, it’s for Women of our time! Our aim is to create an environment where you can be who you are and find out who you want to become. A community that harnesses the core power of all women and the common challenges we face but recognises that we all have a different story and no one size solution fits all.
WHY IS IT DIFFERENT
It has never been clearer that women are facing more and more challenges in the workplace that also impact significantly on their personal lives. There has been over 50 years of legislation and focus to create an equal environment for women little change has happened. The solutions that exist have been proven to have little impact on the gender landscape often providing a generic approach that doesn’t address systemic organisational issues and individual challenges
Inequality, discrimination, sexual harassment continues to exist in the workforce despite commitments to improve diversity and inclusion being in place. Key areas of inequality include
Lack of promotion and development
Bullying and harassment
Work life balance including childcare.
Of particular concern is the emerging issue of an increase in overt sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
It is no longer acceptable to not to acknowledge the challenges women are facing and admit that solutions that have been put in place are not having the impact they should have. It is critical that the plethora of EDI commitments are challenged to identify how they have actually been transferred into action.
There is an urgent need to put in place fit for purpose support to develop and grow our female talent, supporting wellbeing productivity and growth. Existing solutions have made some difference but what we have identified is that the lack of progress in tackling the systemic organisational factors such as patriarchy, process that inherently adversely affect women , the continuing post Covid imbalance in childcare arrangements that change has to come from the individual and that money and time has to be invested in specific 121 support that equips and resources each person to tackle their own challenges.
A guiding principle of WOOT is the uniqueness of each person THIS IS ME and one stop /sheep dip solutions do not provide the space for each person to understand their challenges, their strengths and their solutions. And often these generic solutions can perpetuate the issues women face in regards to confidence and self-belief.
Meet the WOOT Founders
Safety & Environment Management | Mental Wellbeing| Mindset Transformation | Behavioural Change
HR L&D | Organisation Change | Organisational Capability | Mindset Transformation | Behavioural Change | Enterprise
Like many before us, our journey began with the belief that things could be better. The conflicts we encountered throughout our professional careers and the fragility we experienced in our personal lives left us wanting – needing, something different for ourselves and others. Raising teenage daughters through divorce, cancer and the daily grind while navigating a successful career was never going to be easy. A series of high profile, high-pressure roles within challenging professional environments makes the picture bleaker.
Our story certainly wouldn’t make the glamorous pages of Instagram. Instead, it forms the backdrop to our approach and is a well of real-life, gritty experience – we’ve lived through so much of what we work on with our clients. In 2011 WE established our company, Kokoro, Karen was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Perhaps classically, it was a diagnosis that would make us realise that there’s a different way of being and doing. Years spent climbing the corporate ladder and reaching the very top of our game means we’ve been witness to all that’s great within some of the most prominent household names in the UK. We also experienced judgement, inauthenticity and discrimination. It wasn’t a world we wanted our daughters to grow up in.
Already they were suffering from low self-esteem and confidence, dealing with it in some of the most destructive ways, the only ways they knew how. For us, for our daughters and others, we knew we had to use our professional and personal experience to bring about a change. A change that would empower and equip women and young girls to be the best version of themselves, without labels and judgement. Throughout Karen’s experience of breast cancer, we felt the support of our female friends and colleagues; we heard their wise words as they shared their own experiences. Here was a strong female tribe that we knew existed the world over. As twins, we’ve always had our tribe of two. At times our paths have been similar but more often we walked our own. And while we have shared values and a similar approach, we have very different perspectives. That’s where we offer added value for our clients, and immeasurable support for each other. In part, we’ve made the journey from a working-class upbringing to university to high-profile roles in big brand names because we had each other.
We had a cheerleader, someone to encourage us, champion us and help us be the best version of ourselves. That’s what we want for every woman and young girl. And Karen’s experience of breast cancer showed us what we had to do. Around this time, we also began delving deeper into the effects of mindset on determining our outcomes. And we searched out complementary therapies to support our physical and mental health. When we put all this together, we knew we’d discovered a powerful combination that could change futures, and Kokoro was born.
Changing our mindset impacts choices and decisions which shape our future and we quickly saw the transformation for those we were working with, and the effect it had on others around them. We were equipping the women of tomorrow with the resources to change their world. And through Kokoro, we continue to change futures. And through our company Matter of Choice, we change fortunes. Very quickly we realised the full potential of our unique approach and how its versatility allows us to apply it to other situations. And so today we also transform businesses using our vast experience gained in senior leadership roles within some of the most well-known companies in the UK, and our passion to help people be the best they can be.
We’re only able to successfully support people because of our own experiences and the ‘work’ we’ve done on ourselves over the years. Self-awareness, self-belief and the confidence to be authentic without compromise all takes time. But the change we see in ourselves is significant. To understand our triggers and responses, the labels we put on ourselves and the judgements we make is life changing. ‘To make things better’ continues to be a driver for us, we believe everyone should have access to the tools that will give them a better future. A few years ago we established a philanthropic arm to Kokoro, which is funded by the work we do with businesses, so we can give our support to young people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access it.
Knowing we’re improving wellbeing, helping young people gain skills to get them into work and empowering them to be confident and most importantly, be themselves – makes it all worthwhile. Our belief that things could be better still rings true. We know there’s more to do, but we’re proud of what we’ve already done for so many people. Change starts with yourself and one person at a time we’re helping people make that change for a better future for them, a better world for everyone.