Why are many women paying for their own development?

At Peeplcoach, our mission is to make leadership development, training and coaching accessible to all. Research has proven that coaching works and yet current cost models and processes are exclusionary. By their very nature they provide for the few while excluding the many.
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At Peeplcoach, our mission is to make leadership development, training and coaching accessible to all. Research has proven that coaching works and yet current cost models and processes are exclusionary. By their very nature they provide for the few while excluding the many. Their lack of scalability limits organisations’ access, especially for emerging, developing, frontline and women leaders. 

We know this because of firsthand experience, and the academic research supports this experience. Two years ago, James Chisholm, our Co-founder, completed his Advanced Certification in Coaching at Columbia University. His final research topic was ‘Gender and executive coaching: do traditional pricing models perpetuate inequality?’  He found that this was undoubtedly the case. 

Over the years, and especially since COVID-19, we are finding more and more women leaders approaching us directly to enquire about our coaching programs. 

They vary in age, cultural and religious background, education, career, industry, marital and family status, but there are many commonalities in why they are seeking an external coach. The following list is not exhaustive but we hear these topics come up again and again: 

  • imposter syndrome – building confidence and learning to be enough 
  • how to step up as a leader and in one’s career 
  • juggling work and life – finding balance 
  • working in a male-dominated industry 
  • learning to say no 
  • building executive presence and one’s leadership brand 
  • building networks. 

And, generally, these women all just want to become better at their jobs. 

The conversation usually starts with an ambitious and passionate woman leader sharing what they need. I then ask them, ‘Who will be funding this?’ and 9 times out of 10 they say, ‘I will.’ There are a few reasons for this answer: 

  1. They haven’t asked, because they are scared of the response or didn’t even think it was an option. 
  2. They haven’t asked because they don’t think they are worthy; they feel they need to fund their own development in order to be better so that they can add more value to their organisation before thinking about making any sort of request.   
  3. They have asked and they were told no, the business can’t afford it. 

All these responses anger me for so many reasons, but I am particularly frustrated by answer 2. Especially knowing that when we have the same conversations with passionate and ambitious male leaders, 9 out of 10 of them will happily mention that they will ‘talk to the business and the funding will be found’. There is a confidence and an understanding that they are entitled to this development to add value to themselves as well as their business. And, in this context, I think ‘entitlement’ is a good word. Passionate and ambitious leaders should be supported to develop their skills and leadership capabilities to benefit themselves, their team and their organisation.  

So, to all the women leaders out there, I want to ask you the following questions. 

  • Why do you believe that you have to pay for your own development? 
  • What is stopping you from asking for development support? 
  • What makes you think that you are not good enough or do not deserve to be supported? 
  • What action can you take? Can you speak to your manager or HR team and investigate what support is available to you? 

To organisations and managers

  • If you have employees, especially women, who are passionate about their career, encourage and support them. 
  • Don’t let budget be an issue. With our Peeplcoach programs starting from just $99 per month, budget cannot be the barrier to funding development. Especially when you remember that the cost to replace an employee can be anywhere from $30K to $100K.  
  • Ask yourself, are you investing where you should be? 

We will never have true diversity, talent pipelining, succession planning or pay equity if we do not ask for, accept or offer resources, training, development and coaching equally.  

And one final thing – 51% of participants in our programs are women, so every day we are moving closer to achieving our goal of equality in the workplace. 

Discover more about our Women Leader of the Future programs here.

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Scott Thompson

Dianne Flemington

Jess Ferguson

James Chisholm

My name is James and I am Head of Customer Partnerships, Co-founder and a Coach at Peeplcoach. I bring over 25 years business leadership experience performing roles in executive general management, board directorship, business development and operational leadership. My career has covered multiple industries including building technology services, asset management, renewable energy and not-for-profit with large multi-national corporations, private companies and SMEs including Honeywell, Plenary Group and The Hunger Project.

With extensive local and international experience, I have led teams of many shapes and sizes, including teams of thousands of employees across varied countries and cultures. I enjoy working with diverse groups of people to achieve outcomes with a sense of purpose and alignment to my personal values.

My qualifications include BA (Politics and Psychology) from Sydney University, Master of Commerce from University of NSW, Advanced Coaching Intensive program from Columbia University (USA) and the Company Directors Course (AICD).


Feel free to book a time to chat to be here https://calendly.com/james-chisholm/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1″

Hilary Gustave

Felicity Brown

Evie Suss

Dr Simone Boer

Doug Binns

Di Kanagalingam

Jinn Kan

Bryan Carroll

Charlotte Rush

Christine Khor

My name is Christine and I am the CEO, Founder and Lead Coach at Peeplcoach. Over the last 25 years, I have had a very varied career across marketing, recruitment, business start-up, branding and executive coaching working for both large and small organisations.

I’ve worked for global organisations such as Simplot Australia, Kraft Foods (now Mondelez) and Hallmark Cards. I have successfully founded two businesses and have worked with hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals to build successful careers, teams and businesses.

My qualifications include BA (Major in Criminology and Psychology), MBA, Post-Graduate in Policy Studies and Post Graduate Diploma in Organisational Change and Executive Coaching. I have also been recognised as a Telstra Businesswomen finalist, a Chief Executive Women winner and danced on a bar with Richard Branson.

In all my roles, my passion has been to assist and enable individuals to find value and fulfilment in their work and to support organisations for sustainable growth. I believe in being courageous, challenging ourselves for growth, equality and fairness and laughing every day. Simply, I want to help people find what they love to do and organisations to be successful.


Feel free to book a time to chat to here https://calendly.com/christine-khor-peeplcoach/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1

Clare Phelan

Dawn James

Deb McDonald

Bronwyn Rose

Anne Basia

Jillian Bolger

Joanna Clary

Agnel Dsouza

Zana Ballantyne

My name is Zana and I am both a Master Coach and Head of Coaches for Peeplcoach. My role is to recruit, grow, develop, lead and inspire a team of passionate and talented coaches to ensure we achieve our mission to make coaching accessible to all!

I now lead a team of coaches who are supporting emerging and developing leaders across Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Singapore and India.

With 25+ years’ experience across continents in the people development and leadership space, I’m known for driving people-led organisational change and embedding positive cultures. I do this through a consultative coaching approach and facilitating programs that ignite new ways. I’ve led teams and worked with all levels of leadership in various industries, including GE, Coles, ADP, Consumer Affairs and Ambulance Victoria. Some of my clients include Asahi, Dulux, Inghams, Latrobe City Council and Bega to name a few.

I am a qualified executive coach holding a Post Graduate Certificate Organisational Coaching and I am a practitioner and facilitator in DISC, LSI, GSI, NLP, MBTI, Change Acceleration Process (PCI)

As a leader and coach, I explore hidden challenges, then empower individuals to find solutions that inspire action. I believe in putting people first to build capability, create high performing teams and positive sustainable change that drives business results.


Feel free to book a time to chat to be here https://calendly.com/zanaballantyne/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1

Jo Hart

My name is Jo Hart and I am the Operations and Administration Manager at Peeplcoach and my role is to continually optimise the systems and processes that drive the delivery of accessible, high-quality coaching.

Over the last 23 years, I have had a varied career in roles including, finance, operations, project management, optimisation, learning and development and leading project teams. During this time I have worked locally and internationally to help organisations to succeed efficiently and effectively. I have worked across financial services, health services, information technology, insurance, media, and retail industries for organisations such as Deutsche Bank, Adecco Group and Australian Association of Social Workers.

I love a challenge and playing my role in the team to deliver development opportunities in a way that maximises engagement and creates opportunities for people and organisations to be at their best.

Email: jo.hart@peeplcoach.com

Richard Clarke

Greer O’Brien

Joanne Hall

Richard Toothill

My name is Richard and am the Sales Manager here at Peeplcoach with over 10+ solution sales experience across leadership development & coaching, recruitment and SaaS technologies within the IT & Digital space.

I have worked across both global corporate, fast growth and start-up environments which include companies such as Oracle, Seek and Elmo Software primarily focusing on driving new business in the B2B space and have had the pleasure to work with some of Australia’s most well-known organisations including Fortescue Metals Group, Multiplex, Commonwealth Bank, Arup and Austrade to name few.

In all my roles, my passion has been able to solve challenges to both individuals and organisations and help people be the best they can be. Simply put, I want to help organisations to be successful and to help people to reach their full potential to find what they love to do.

In addition to my industry experience I hold a Bachelor Business Degree from Griffith University (QLD) majoring in sports management.

You can find me on LinkedIn here

Michael Rainey

My name is Michael and I am the Projects Manager at Peeplcoach and my role is to make sure that everything happens seamlessly, from launching new coachees to our platforms, onboarding new Peeplcoach coaches or launching new content.

Over the last 25 years, I have had a varied career in roles including, finance, human resources, training, learning and organisational development. I’ve worked for a number of incredible organisations such as CBA, Mercedes-Benz, Lumo Energy, Yarra Valley Water and Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE.

I have qualifications in – Bachelor of Education & Training, Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management and Graduate Diploma in Psychological Studies.

My guiding compass has been to develop and enable others by giving them the tools they need so they can be the best they can be, while contributing to the organisation’s goals.

Email: Michael.Rainey@peeplcoach.com

Faydra Khor

Virginia Aldred

Karin Moorhouse

Vanessa Jones

Susan Williams

Sean O’Leary

Sarah Bateman

Rob Watson

Natalie Hormann

Margaret Haarhoff

Kaye Brett

Anglea Zegir