For women who Rock their Role in work and life

A Blog For ILM Inspire. Happenista Project: Starting Out

Originally posted on janicestjohnmatthews:

The Happenista Project is a unique online coaching programme for women who want to make things happen – in their own style. Janice St. John-Matthews shares her experiences with us from the very beginning

Two months ago I started a new departmental leadership role. Although I have had a similar position with another organisation five years ago and have been an associate member of the Institute of Leadership & Management for many years, I have been nervous taking on this commitment.  The reason for this is because I am now mum to a three year old and I realise that the traditional networking and work-life balance strategies I had employed in the past would need redesigning if I was to give this role and my family the commitment they both deserve.

I have been considering how to get this balance right for some time and having read Jenny Garett’s Rocking…

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9 Tips for Dealing With Impostor Syndrome

Originally posted on A Year of Living Academically:

I have been thinking a lot about impostor syndrome lately. Mainly because I see my fellow postdocs and assistant profs (and let’s be honest some associate profs) suffering from it. One of my last conversations with a fellow postdoc before I left for the summer was about how hir imposter syndrome kept hir from writing and submitting an article for review. I wanted to shake hir, tell hir s/he’s wonderful and smart (since I had read hir work and seen hir present), but some how I didn’t think that would do the trick.

Others have been thinking about impostor syndrome as well, such as Nate Krueter who defines it as, “the lurking, sinking, throbbing feeling that they will soon be exposed for the intellectual and professional frauds that they sometimes suspect themselves of being.” He suggests asking questions when transitioning into a new job and being honest when dealing with…

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19th February and I’m Up in the Air #dailypositives

Originally posted on Jess Positive:

I’m back! I said I would be and taa daa here I am!

It was a bit of a longer break than intended but I feel this is now the right time to pick up from where I left off and get positive again. A key motivator is being part of the #Happenista project. This is encouraging me to grasp my cyber demons and share my work on multiple platforms including a blog…

A Happenista discussion with Jenny Garrett and others taking part made me realise it’s not enough to be positive alone, I need to be productive too! I am currently in the fortunate if unexpected position of being up in the air. I have many landing options below me but am yet to plump for which one or perhaps which few options to go for.

I have so many motivating factors i.e. family, intellectual stimulation, family business… They…

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Happenista Homework


Moving blog that all should read to remind of us the importance of a few words and our humanity.

Originally posted on janicestjohnmatthews:

It’s that time of year again. Personal statements have been written. UCAS applications have been sent and the interviewing process has begun to recruit the next generation of diagnostic radiographers. It’s no secret that candidates will be asked why they are considering a degree in radiography. It will be no surprise to hear that for most it is the mix of technical skill and patient care that attracts them to the profession- I gave that very answer seventeen year ago. While my answer hasn’t changed during this time, my appreciation of the patient care aspect of our role has.

In 2002, less than a year qualified, my Mum passed away from a short illness. During this time Mum had became a hospital regular and came across a number of different departments and professionals. It was her account of a visit to the imaging department which made me further consider our…

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On the Move


Thank you so much to you for taking the time to read this blog over the past year.

The highlight so far was the day I received 4606 visits!

You may know that there are 2 sides to my business:

1. Reflexion Associates – Leadership coaching and coach training in organisations

2. Rocking Your Role – my book, speaking engagements, training and support for women executives, entrepreneurs and breadwinners

I have decided to consolidate my blog into my sites and would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to one or both of my blogs in their new home.

I won’t be posting here any longer.

1. Reflexion Associates blog – , register for updates via the newsletter sign up box at the top of the page

2. Rocking Your Role blog – , add your email in the subscribe box

See you at the house warming

Warm wishes


Jenny Garrett

+44 (0) 844 776 4744

Lean In or Retreat?

Sheryl Sandberg is currently advocating in her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, that women should go towards opportunities. I agree that women shouldn’t hold themselves back, but I think that there are times when women should retreat.

You see going full steam ahead without conscious thought, enough physical, spiritual or psychological resource, can be more damaging than doing nothing.

Have you ever?

  • been up all night with poorly children and then had to work the next day
  • had to deal with a family or relationship crisis while being all smiles at work
  • felt unwell but afraid to take a day off

The fact is on days like those above, the answer is not to lean in, but retreat.

Think of it like a battle, when your soldiers are injured and depleted you don’t go into attack, do you?

The dictionary defines ‘retreat ‘as

*The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.

*A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security

*A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.

*Withdrawal of a military force from a dangerous position or from an enemy attack.

Sometimes you need to go back to go forward, so you at least have a fighting chance.

Retreating is the answer if:

  • You are at a turning point in your life
  • Seeking clarity or insight
  • Wanting to dive deeply within
  • You want to reconnect your inner life to your outer life
  • Slowing your life down
  • Needing rest, deep relaxation, healing and rejuvenation

How you do it is your choice, but here are a five ideas:

  1. Journaling
  2. Getting closer to nature
  3. Meditating/Mindfulness practice
  4. Yoga
  5. Taking a few days to take part in a retreat

When you are back to feeling fully resourceful and know what you want, then of course, take Sheryl’s advice and Lean In.

From the 11th-15th July, I will be leading a  Life Coaching Retreat at the Premier Luxury Mountain Resort, Bansko, Bulgaria. Come along to Relax, Re-energise and Refocus. See this video for more information

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at and sign up for my newsletter

The best time to be a female entrepreneur is NOW!

In 2011 a Government survey found that the growth in number of female entrepreneurs had stalled and that their numbers decline the more successful the ventures they set up become.

It discovered that only 14 per cent of small and medium-sized firms are women-led, the same as in 2007, the authoritative government survey of 4,500 businesses found.

While 21 per cent of start-ups in 2010 involved female founders, the proportion fell to 13 per cent for small firms employing more than 10 people and only eight per cent of all medium-sized companies.

So with these statistics in mind you might wonder why I endeavored to deliver a talk toCostaWomen, a thriving, award winning women’s network in Spain founded by Ali Meehanentitled The best time to be a female entrepreneur is NOW!





Well here are the 5 reasons that I shared on why I think that the best time to be a female entrepreneur is NOW!

  1. Feminine skills in feminine structures

Women are collaborators, we are heavily engaged, motivational, and extremely well suited to emerging, less hierarchical workplace rather than traditional large male structures found in the majority of large corporate organisations. In addition women have an eye on the future, we are concerned with the legacy we leave for the next generation, rather than short term gain.

  1. Women do the majority of the buying and we know how women think!

Women control 83% of all consumer purchases, including consumer electronics, health care and cars. Forward-looking companies understand they need women to figure out how to market to women. As women we know how women think nad have a direct link to our customers.

  1. Access to capital is easier

These days its unlikely that you’ll need a huge investment to get your business up and running with crowd funding and angel investors its easier than its ever been to by pass banks to get the seed funding that you need.

  1. Location doesn’t matter

You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to start a business in 2013. You can even do it from your bedroom where many online businesses started. I coach clients online wherever they are in the world.

5. Achieving Work Life Balance

A recent LinkedIn Survey found that women value work-life balance more than salary or position. Entrepreneurship offers more flexibility to juggle work with your other responsibilities, such as a 3 day week, at night after the kids go to bed, or even from a coffee shop.

However, women are still holding themselves back, a third of the female population would start a business if it wasn’t for the fear of failure (‘Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’ London Business School, 2003)

I also shared in my talk the 3 A’s on how to combat this fear.  You’ll have to come along to one of my talks to find them out, or sign up for my newsletter as I’ll be sharing a resource on this very soon.

I’ll leave you with a video of my interview on Spanish TV, Mijas 3.40

and my radio interview on ItalkFM Radio in Spain with Verenina Conti

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at and sign up for my newsletter

Earth Day Offer – Heard of the Cucamelon?

Earth Day Giveway – Cucamelon

Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge the amazing planet we call home and take action to protect it.

So, what  am I doing to celebrate Earth Day?

In celebration of Earth Day, I am offering everyone who books a Rocking & Shocking Session, some seeds to grow your very own Cucamelons.

Cucamelon is a new fruit the size of a grape that tastes of pure cucumber with a tinge of lime. The perfect snack and  really easy to grow even for real beginners.

This is a great way to start growing your own and reducing the carbon footprint of the food you eat.


Offer open from 00.00 to 23.59 on 22nd April, 2013 Only

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at and sign up for my newsletter

Is it easier for women to be breadwinners in Denmark than in the UK?

The guest blog is written by Rachael Sterrett, founder of Getting it write dk she works with companies in Denmark who wish to develop an international focus to their marketing.  Rachael moved to Denmark with her husband and two children in 2011 and started her own company last year.   

Rachael Sterrett

Rachael Sterrett, founder of Getting it write dk

“In Denmark it is not necessary to choose between job and children – it is possible to have both.” Kirstie Wild

In the UK as the number of female breadwinners increases significantly, there is intense debate around the challenges of managing “breadwinner status”, the need for better more cost-effective childcare and demands for more flexible working conditions for both men and women.

However, the social system already in place may put Danish women ahead of the game, facilitating an easier transition into new working roles. Denmark has had a head start on equality for many years and already has very generous maternity benefits, flexible working conditions and affordable high quality childcare.

Kirstie Wild, EU Science Funding Consultant at the Danish Institute for Technology moved to Denmark with her husband and 6 year old twins in December 2008.  Despite planning a career break in Denmark she soon realized that, “It was not necessary to choose job or children – it is possible to have both. The Danish work-life balance is so much better than in the UK.”

In my experience, the economy in Denmark is built on two incomes. There isn’t a term for “breadwinner”, as it is expected that both partners will be working. However, the working conditions and childcare provision also accommodate this. There is very little requirement for parents to attend school events during the day (sports days/nativity plays) alleviating the guilt felt by missing these events, and the stress spent trying to “make” them on time. Danish children are self-reliant from a very early age, with many going to school on their own from the age of 7, relieving parents of “school run” stress.

There is a high degree of self worth amongst Danish women and much less guilt. So what happens when Danish women, despite being equal, start to by-pass their men and earn more than their partners? In the last 15 years women’s share of top earners, the Golden Percentile (gyldne procent), has doubled to 18%. The number of women starting their own businesses has increased to 33% and Denmark is ranked 7 overall for gender equality in the Global Gender Gap Report 2012 (with the UK at 18).

Whilst there is some discussion in the Danish media on the impact of “TopKvinder” (top female earners), there is also notable discussion on the challenge it poses for men. Kenneth Reinicke from Roskilde University is often quoted in articles about gender roles from the male perspective. There is also growing interest in how relationships are affected by changes in earnings. Recent research, In Sickness and in Wealth published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin concluded that Danish men were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction when their wives earned marginally more than them, and that women who earned more than their husbands suffered from increased anxiety and insomnia.

So when all things are equal, even in Denmark, the last taboo of women earning more than their partners can still be threatening for some couples remaining hidden from public view behind the closed doors of the bedroom.

Rachael Sterrett, Getting it write dk.

“Jenny has been instrumental in keeping me motivated and focused on my business through monthly coaching sessions during the long winter months”.


Feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 844 776 4744 or email or

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at and sign up for my newsletter

Women breadwinners could save Japan by Akane Odake

I am so pleased to feature this guest blog from Akane Odake. Akane is a Japanese journalist who attended one of my talks and has kindly written an enlightening blog on attitudes to Women Breadwinners in Japan.

Akane Odake

Akane Odake Japanese Journalist

I was really surprised by the fact that in the UK men now make up nearly 10% of those who care for children while their partner goes to work, a result of rise in female breadwinners. In Japan, where I am from, such cases are extremely rare. (I could not find an exact number, and seems like this kind of data may not even exist.)

Japanese gender equality is sadly low; according to the latest Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it ranks 101 out of 135 countries.

One of the many reasons for this low rank is due to the lack of women in the workforce. Because of insufficient childcare, long working hours, and traditional views on gender roles, nearly 70% of Japanese women leave their jobs after having their first child. As a result, the pay gap between men and women remains huge in Japan.

Gender Pay Gap Japan

Graph showing the gender pay gap in Japan

I remember that when I was working in Tokyo, there were several working mothers at my office. Generally, their husbands do not have much time to take care of their children, since they work crazily long hours. As a result, most of the burden of childcare was on the working mothers. They go to kindergartens in the morning to drop their children off, come to work, go back to kindergartens around 5pm to pick them up and then take care of their children alone until their husbands come home around 9 or 10pm, continuing the work the mothers could not finish at the office. They seemed to be super busy all the time. Looking at them, I thought it was impossible for me to keep my job and raise children at the same time.

However, there is a sign of change, or to be more exact, there is a need for change, too. As Japan has the world’s fastest ageing society and is rapidly losing its working population, people have started to realise that women’s participation in the workforce is necessary to boost the economy. In fact, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, told reporters “women could actually save Japan”. Of course, there is so much to be done to make it possible, such as better pay, a more flexible work culture, better childcare, changing traditional view on gender roles, just to list a few.

Coming from that kind of country, attending Jenny’s book reading and being surrounded by so many female breadwinners was like finding myself in a world of science fiction. At the same time, it was really refreshing to know that if the situation allows, women can keep working and make money like men do. (Yes, the belief of “women are not good at business” is still widespread in Japan…) I really hope that like me, more Japanese women can receive a positive influence from British female role models and help move Japan toward progress in the near future.

You can contact Akane on

Or feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 844 776 4744 or email

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at and sign up for my newsletter

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