Business isn’t just a man’s world anymore. Today, when we’re talking about entrepreneurship, career coaches, and success, we’re talking about people – not pronouns.
For this post, we picked 20 women whose career-coaching work, over the years, has stood out. They’ve all worked with big brands, have a dream of helping professionals succeed, and have set the bar high for all business coaches. It doesn’t matter where you see your career in the next five years or so. The coaches below deserve a spot in your Twitter feed, bookmarks bar, and inbox.
Short disclaimer, here: All of the women on this list are equally great and have significantly impressive resumes, and they’re listed in alphabetical order.
Sana Afouaiz is no stranger to underprivileged women who need support both in their everyday and work life. Sana focuses on advising women (especially in the Middle East and North Africa region) to build confidence and achieve success in business.
Her experience in global women’s issues has also worked as her passport for her regular travels all over the world, researching the living conditions of women and girls in conservative societies.
In 2016, she founded the Womenpreneur Initiative, an organization in Brussels with more than 10,000 members in 20 different countries. The goal is to “advance women’s place in entrepreneurial scene, technology, innovation, and society.”
With remote work on such an increase, coaching for those who work from home sounds like a legitimate concept. This is Ashlee Anderson’s area of expertise.
Ashlee, who describes herself as a “friend to freelancer, solopreneur, and out-of-the-cube thinker”, felt trapped in her office work. And, with just $100 in her pocket, she decided that it was time to make a living as a freelance writer.
It definitely took a lot of work. But she eventually made it, and in 2015 she launched her blog, “Work from Home Happiness”. There, she helps remote workers (or aspiring remote workers) find the secret recipe to work-from-home success and happiness.
Milena Berry & Katharine Zaleski
Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski launched PowerToFly in 2014. Their goal was simple: they wanted to provide women with the ability to work for companies that had gender diversity and inclusion in the core of their principles.
It’s no secret that less than 20% of tech jobs are held by women1. This is what Milena and Katharine want to fix.
Thus far, thousands of women have used their platform to look for jobs in companies that want to build a pipeline of vetted women in tech. So, if you’re looking for a company that doesn’t allow any gender discrimination, go to PowerToFly.com and start looking for your next career right away.
Kitty Boitnott was an educator who had had enough with all the stress the teacher’s life comes with. To make sure no other educators would ever come close to this burnout, she created Teachers in Transition, where she tutors educators who’re looking for a career swift.
Kitty knows what teachers need to do in order to get out of a job that might not be a good fit for them anymore. It’s all a matter of taking a break and redirecting their skills and expertise into a new, fulfilling career.
So, to all the teachers out there who’re looking for a change in their career, Kitty is the person you should follow right now.
A 2018 report by American Express 2 found out that, from 2007 to 2018, the number of businesses owned by black women has grown by 164%.
For Makisha Boothe from Sistahpreneurs, this is not enough.
With an extensive background in strategy, business startup, innovation, design thinking, and more, Makisha created Sistahpreneurs, the “business haven for black female entrepreneurs”. With Sistahpreneurs, more black women get access to resources that will equip them with all the necessary entrepreneurship skills, and better working conditions.
Did you know that black women entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing but the lowest-earning group of entrepreneurs in the U.S.? It’s high time we changed that!
Kathy Caprino has a really interesting idea. She believes that people who don’t take a leap of faith to follow their entrepreneurial dreams have not been given the opportunity to rise and speak up.
As a result, her coaching approach is somehow different. Kathy teaches her students on courage, passion, and confidence. Then comes entrepreneurship.
Included in LinkedIn ProFinder’s “Best of 2017” list, Kathy Caprino teaches her students how to build confidence and find that inner sparkle that everyday life sometimes dims. Then, as an internationally recognized career coach, she takes them by hand and inspires them to start their amazing journey into the world of entrepreneurship.
In 2017, a Gallup poll3 suggested that only 15% of workers are engaged at work worldwide. And this leads us to a conclusion that is sometimes overlooked: everybody needs to love their job.
Mo Faul used to be among that 85% who had no motivation to go to work and do what she had to do on a daily basis. But now the tables have turned and, every day, she rushes out of bed so she can work even more.
With a fun and energetic approach, Mo helps her students go from underpaid, unmotivated and unfulfilled to loving their life and career again.
The number of women in business is still small. Even though women in high-ranking positions are increasing, still only 29% of senior management roles are held by female employees4.
Melanie Fieseler has a vision of defeating discrimination and fighting for equal pay, female influence in the workplace, women in executive positions, and female voices to be heard right now.
Her firm is all about these goals. Melanie and her team offer a wide range of services, all focused on the same objective: help organizations advance, retain, and develop talent.
What’s even more interesting is that she also develops working parent programs for people who’re looking to find a balance between being a full-time parent and a full-time employee. Who said you can’t have both?
According to a research paper5 of the Behavioral Science Research Institute, 70% of the U.S. population will experience at least one episode of impostor syndrome in their lifetimes. The same research suggests that this might be especially widespread among women considered to be high achievers.
Michelle Gomez has some firsthand experience with anxiety and fear. For a long time, she was looking for validation and felt like her professional success was just a random incident.
Michelle now has switched her focus to self-development and lives the professional life she always wanted. And now that she’s made it, all she wants is to pass that knowledge to other women who suffer from impostor syndrome, and help them break through cultural barriers that might be holding them back.
Jane Jackson is the author of an Amazon bestseller (“Navigating Career Crossroads”), public speaker, and host of the ‘Your Career’ podcast.
Jane’s resume includes an impressive, worldwide portfolio — she has worked with professionals from all sorts of industries in London, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Her focus area? Helping people find happiness in what they do and identify key aspects that will allow them to create a career they truly love.
Whether it’s a group presentation, a corporate training session, or even a one-on-one session, Jane gives her trainees that spark of inspiration.
For 4 years in a row, Ivette Mayo served as a Public Diplomat for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. Today, she’s a published author, and the founder of POWER On Heels Network to support women who want to achieve their biggest career visions.
Through her 27-year-long career, Ivette has worked with several Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies focusing on what matters the most: people, profits, and productivity. Ivette believes everything’s about people, who in turn help a company increase performance.
And we couldn’t agree more.
Someone can be the best in their field. The definition of “qualified.” But it’s not always enough. It’s also a matter of branding – personal branding, that is.
Pavlina Papalouka has an extensive background in public relations, a profession that has equipped her with all the necessary tools to identify a person’s unique value. By doing so, her trainees are able to find their personal voice, build confidence, and overcome their limitations.
With the motto “Unlock your true potential”, Pavlina offers online mentoring that helps people set a success mindset and get the tools to thrive.
Janet Scarborough Civitelli
Janet Scarborough Civitelli used to work in recruiting and felt sad about rejecting candidates for jobs. Before she even thought of becoming a coach, she did volunteer work to teach people how to get that dream job they always wished. Today, she’s a full-time virtual career coach.
By combining her studies (a B.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology) Janet counsels teams on workplace happiness — a workplace characteristic that good leaders should be aiming for. So, if you’re starting out with a company, building a team from scratch, or you just need to develop your leadership skills, this should be your number one go-to person.
Sherry Sims was working in the HR industry when she realized there was a serious problem: professional black women didn’t have as much access to peer support and mentoring. At first, she created the LinkedIn group “Black Career Women’s Network”. Soon, what had started as a side project became a national organization supporting black women by giving access to career resources, mentors, and coaches.
Now, some years and multiple awards later, Sherry has the exact same vision: “I want every Black Career Woman to work in her natural talents, have equal consideration for growth, and be equipped to handle the complexities of the workplace so we can truly experience real freedom and fulfillment at work,” she says.
Sarah A. Soule
The world is changing at an extremely fast pace. Entrepreneurship today, more than ever, needs inclusivity and more voices to be heard, so even greater things can happen. Sarah A. Soule, the Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is an expert on how human psychology and sociology can affect decisions or the way businesses operate.
This is why she decided to co-direct Stanford’s LGBTQ Executive Leadership Program in which students can be themselves and learn how their identity can strengthen their personal leadership style and form a true leader.
It’s no secret that our professional life is highly affected by the way we live our personal one. As someone could easily assume, this is why a career coach has to be some kind of a therapist, too. Donna Sweidan is both.
In 2005, she founded CareerFolk to be able to offer psychological counseling along with career coaching. This combination allows Donna to approach each individual she coaches holistically.
First, she makes sure that her customer’s personal story is heard. Then she turns it into a tool to develop their personal professional branding. After that, she takes her trainees by the hand and makes sure they have an impressive resume, a network they can trust, and, eventually, the job of their dreams.
Think of a job seeker. It might be you, a friend, a family member, anyone. What is the first thing they should work on in order to land the job they always dreamed of? A resume of course.
Adrienne Tom is an expert resume strategist. For more than 15 years, she’s helped professionals from across North America pursue opportunities, by helping them present past career achievements in the most effective manner. Due to her extensive experience, Adrienne also helps her trainees find the opportunities they should go for, depending on their experience and qualifications.
Penelope Trunk is a woman of many talents. She used to play professional beach volleyball. Then she went to graduate school for English. And as if all these were not enough, she decided to learn HTML. Which eventually landed her a job at Ingram Micro, a Fortune 100 company.
And then it hit her. Penelope’s passion is in startups, and she’s currently the founder of four of them. Now, as an expert in the field of entrepreneurship, she has published “Brazen Careerist”, where she identifies the new rules for success and helps businesspeople reach it.
Some people have a knack for leadership and/or entrepreneurship. Others are still trying to figure out what their true calling is. This is where Kerri Twigg steps in to save the day.
As a Job Search Strategist, Kerri works closely with her trainees to find out their story, introduce it to their business profile, and develop a career brand. After that, they’re ready to determine what kind of career they should be pursuing.
With uniqueness being her one and only driver when coaching people, Kerri focuses her program on resume writing and job search strategy. And as for the outcome? It always comes with career success.
Michelle Ward is one of those persons who’ve learned how to adjust themselves according to what they want to accomplish. As an ex-actress, she loved performing but “didn’t love the business of show business,” she recalls. This was when she decided to drop her acting career.
After a long job-hopping experience, she eventually figured out that her true passion was entrepreneurship, which allowed her to work on her own terms. Michelle now aspires to help others achieve what she’s achieved herself. With women being her focal point, she’s helped many female professionals leave their 9-5 jobs which no longer suited them and pursue their career dreams.
If you feel stuck in a career that you don’t like anymore, Michelle, as a certified coach, will give you the extra boost you need.
- Women in the World of Tech, https://evia-corp.squarespace.com/women-in-technology
- The 2018 State of Women-owned Businesses Report, commissioned and provided by American Express, 2018, https://about.americanexpress.com/files/doc_library/file/2018-state-of-women-owned-businesses-report.pdf
- The World’s Broken Workplace, Jim Clifton, The Chairman’s Blog, June 13, 2017, https://news.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/212045/world-broken-workplace.aspx?g_source=position1&g_medium=related&g_campaign=tiles
- Women in Management: Quick Take,Catalyst, August 7, 2019, https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-management/
- The Impostor Phenomenon, Jaruwan Sakulku & James Alexander, International Journal of Behavioral Science 2011, Vol. 6, No.1, 75-97, Behavioral Science Research Institute, https://www.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/IJBS/article/view/521/pdf