Coach and leadership consultant, personal and organisational development designed to support and retain female talent
Ingrid Seim is a psychological coach with two decades of corporate management experience behind her, and a master’s degree in Coaching and Positive Psychology from University College Cork.
She is also on the committee of the Cork branch of Network Ireland – an organisation dedicated to the professional and personal development of women.
In her coaching and development work Ingrid works with female leaders who want to set themselves ambitious professional goals without sacrificing their work-life balance.
She also delivers talks and workshops addressing the critical issue of domestic labour and its impact on women’s participation in the workforce - and what we can do about it on an organisational and a personal level.
We know that women take on 3 times as much unpaid and emotional work as men - and while we often frame this in terms of looking after the home, family and children, it is not limited to that, with women also being undercompensated and often taking on the more thankless, unappreciated tasks both in work and society at large. And that was before the pandemic.
A survey by the National Women's Council of Ireland’s showed that 85 per cent of women said their caring responsibilities had increased in the last year. 55 per cent said they had less time for their mental health. And a report by LeanIn and McKinsey showed that in corporate America 1 in 4 women are currently considering downgrading their jobs or leaving the workforce for the same reasons.
There are structural issues here that need to be addressed – around childcare, around the value we put on women’s contributions, around organisational succession planning and around the solutions we as a society put in place and who they favour. Solving it is not just yet another burden that should be put on women’s shoulders.
But that doesn’t mean we are powerless to change our own situation. Addressing the issue of “managing it all” and what that means, Ingrid encourages us to challenge our own thoughts and perceptions about what we have to take on and the reasons why we do it. She talks about guilt, of stated and unstated expectations, of how we can make more mindful decisions rather than just accepting that this is how it has to be.
A mother of three young children Ingrid is no stranger to the challenges that juggling multiple responsibilities bring. Working long hours in a challenging leadership role she had the logistics of working and running a household down to a fine art, arranging pick-ups and drop-offs, planning play dates and Star Wars birthday parties, spending weekends batch cooking whilst staying on top of emails.
And when life hit her with a series of challenging events in the space of a few years, her initial response was to just keep going. Until eventually she couldn’t and realised that something had to change – and that she had the power to make that happen.
And those lessons are what she now shares with other women- and with organisations that are keen to retain and attract female talent.