As a nurse and coach I believe in equal access to support and care for all women whatever their background, status or ethnicity.
I strive to be inclusive in my business practices and to support all women to achieve the goals and health status they seek. I am aware that this can be very easy or very challenging depending on a number of factors including race, sexual orientation, colour and social status.
I have taken the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge because, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, I have started to look seriously at my privileges. I want to be more aware of how the privileges I live with impact what I can and will achieve in life and business. I never want to take for granted, overlook, or ‘erase’ their importance when I coach others.
So with that in mind, I think it’s important that as a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, financially secure, able-bodied woman, that I am clear and transparent about my privileges. (Thank you Vicky Schilling and Laura Agar Wilson for guiding me with this.)
Here are my privileges:
Family and Education
I grew up in a working class, two parent household. My parents ran their own business (a wholefood store and deli) but also had other jobs. My dad worked full time shifts as a firefighter and my mum worked part time in the evenings as a cleaner. I grew up never feeling any insecurity about the roof over our heads. I attended a state school and I finished my education at age 18 and went into full time employment. I gained a place at university to study nursing when my daughter was 4 years old and I received a small bursary which was supplemented with part time work around my studies. My course was fully funded by the NHS.
I had access to financial support to continue my learning in subsequent years when I undertook a teaching degree to further my career prospects. This was done over 2 years via evening classes around my full time job. I continue to make student loan repayments for this.
I have a daughter who has just graduated university and is currently supporting herself financially. I am currently married to my second husband and we live mortgage free in South West France after moving from England in November 2018.
I have worked in a number of roles seeking promotion through the ranks of the NHS before moving into the private sector and eventually becoming fully self-employed.
When I decided to go to university, I had the benefit of having a husband with an established career which allowed me to take on a 3 year course on a significantly lower monthly income. We knew this was a short term challenge with long-term gains, however. I was also able to undertake part time work as a healthcare assistant in the NHS trust where I did my training. I managed this around my university timetable and work placements.
I am agnostic and I was brought up in a family where we were encouraged to explore and make our own decisions regarding religion.
With regard to BMI, I am considered overweight and wear a UK size 14-16 and I have experienced weight shaming and weight phobia. I do have some body image issues and have suffered with disordered eating. It is something that has impacted and held me back from being visible but I am investing in myself and working on this.
Overall, my mental state is solid. I have never been diagnosed with or medicated for mental health problems. I have attended counselling around 13 years ago when my first marriage broke down. I found this really helpful.
I am generally healthy I have a couple of chronic underlying health issues that don’t affect my ability to work. I’m British but live in France. I have access to partially funded public healthcare and also can afford to pay for top up insurance cover. I am fortunate to live in a country ranked consistently in the top 10 of best healthcare systems in the world where I can generally get swift access to treatment when required.
My goal is to always be transparent with you about what is possible when you set out to make changes or seek support and treatment. I don’t shy away from the fact that menopause is shit at times but equally, I’m not going to sell it as a bed of roses with magical cures either! I will be honest about the hurdles you will have to cross and the length of time things take to happen
If I don’t think you’re right for what I do, or that I can help you in the way you need, I’ll tell you. I’m not taking your hard earned money unless I genuinely believe I can help you get results.
I will always say it as I see it.
My goal is to support you to achieve the goals you set out and to help you access any treatment options you wish to pursue if we deem them suitable for you.
I appreciate that some changes take time and will not happen overnight. I will work at a pace to suit you whilst maintaining a balance of accountability and patience to allow you to overcome any challenges or obstacles you may come across.
I want to empower you and to enable you to take action. Not leave you feeling confused and unclear.
I aim to make myself obsolete to you, because you’ve gained so much from our time together that you have trust and belief in yourself to move forward without me.
As a coach I am here to help you in a way that is based on real facts and not influenced by personal beliefs or feelings. As a coach I am guided by the principle that my clients always have the best intentions and have everything they need to accomplish their goals. I am simply here to hold up the mirror, ask the right questions and give you guidance based on what you tell me you want and need. Without bringing my own agenda to the party.
I am aware that what helps for one client may not help another. I also appreciate that people have their own individual views around things such as treatment options. I am there to explore your own thoughts and beliefs to then assess the best options for you based on this. I have no allegiance or relationships with any pharmaceutical companies or any agenda to push.
I aim to support you to have the best menopause experience within the boundaries you set.
These values by no means make me perfect and I’m pretty sure I will fuck up at times. Putting this out there though helps me to revisit when things aren’t right or to keep me accountable. I ask that you hold me to these and call me out when I step out of line.
Based on my values these are my business commitments:
Hiring + Money
- I pay everyone who works for me a fair wage and I have never negotiated anyone down from their standard rates.
- I don’t ask anyone to supply content for my website or blog for free. I don’t expect anyone to create content just for ‘exposure.’
- I believe that I am very good at my job. With the transformation I can bring and the life-changing nature of what I can do through the skills and mindset shifts I can facilitate, I charge accordingly. I do not apologise for that.
- There are many low-cost options to working with me or learning from me, including my free Facebook group, free downloads and checklists, and my blog. I also offer a one off, lower cost 1:1 session to target specific areas you need support in and put in place an action plan.
- I offer payment plans to work with me 1:1. I believe that payment plans are a form of financial accessibility. I charge a small percentage (usually no more than 10%). This is to cover costs incurred by offering payment plans such as additional invoicing, time and payment fees such as through Paypal. I do not do this to penalise those who want to spread their investment.
- As my business becomes established, I intend to donate 5% of my income every month to charity. I am currently exploring suitable charities but they will be within the realm of women’s health and menopause. I will update this once I have established which charity/charities I will be supporting and I am in a position to do this.
- I am passionate that all women should have access to menopause support. I try to keep my prices as affordable as possible while ensuring that I can support myself and cover my costs. For every 4 full paying clients that I take on I am able to offer 1 sliding scale place to women who have fewer financial resources, with priority going to those who are disproportionately impacted by institutional and systemic oppression. I will continue to review and explore further ways to improve financial accessibility as my business grows.
Solidarity and Culture-Making
- I am making a commitment to show more diversity on my own platform, most visibly my blog which to-date has not celebrated enough people from BAME backgrounds, for which I take responsibility and aim to do better.
- I will research any businesses I pay, collaborate with and promote to understand their ethics as well as their diversity and inclusion practices to ensure they align with my own values and practices.
- Whilst I find it hard to take, I do value critique and constructive feedback and will take the time to process it, learn from it, and integrate it.
- I will never sell you a tangible result to working with me. I truly believe that the tools, techniques and knowledge I share with you can result in tangible results like managing your symptoms better, getting access to the treatment you want and reaching the goals you set for yourself but I am aware that there are lots of other pieces that need to be in place to ensure this happens. If you want a tangible result, I’ll be clear with you about what those pieces are and where to set your expectations.
- Whilst I will launch products and offers from time to time in order to raise awareness and gain new clients, I will never use hype or FOMO to sell to you. I want you to make an investment that you feel good about and not to feel like you’ve been misled or made a decision under pressure.
- I do not use money-shaming as a marketing tactic. I will also never ask you to make a payment to me whilst on a call before you’ve had a chance to read our contract and assess in your own time, your decision to invest. If I believe I can help you, I will tell you. If I do not think I’m the right person to work with you I will do my best to help you find someone who is.
As a qualified and registered nurse I am required to undertake at least 35 hours of training every 3 years and I usually exceed this. I also engage with regular clinical supervision with a fellow health professional.
As a nurse and coach with a special interest in menopause, I maintain my registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council and I am a member of the British Menopause Society.
I am also committed to ensuring I continue my learning in combating racism, recognising my privileges and challenging white supremacy.