Is there a need for separate coaching for women at a time when women themselves are asking for equality?
Will that not defeat the purpose of equality that asks for equal opportunities for both men and women?
I do get these questions quite often. It is encouraging to see that more and more people are trying to define what equality means.
“Real equality is not possible if we don’t celebrate our differences.”
I agree that this is an ideal situation. A world where each individual is valued for what she or he brings to the table. There is no discrimination based on gender, or going further, color, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
But sadly that is not the reality we are living in today. The reality is:
- Women are far from having equal rights
- Despite earning lower salaries, they still need to pay pink taxes
- Women grapple with emotional labor silently
- Women lack representation in leadership roles
- In 2017, the WEF estimated that it would take 217 years to close the pay gap
- The glass ceiling? Yes, it is real!
Is coaching for women the magical solution to restoring balance and ensuring gender equality?
No. But it is definitely a step in the right direction.
When men and women operate from the same platform of equal opportunities, the perks each get will be considered equal in nature. Till then, women must be encouraged to join the labor force and rise up the ladder with targeted training. This is where I see coaching for women offering specific value.
According to this report, gender equality has strong, positive impacts on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita which grow over time. By 2050, improving gender equality would lead to an increase in EU (GDP) per capita by 6.1 to 9.6%, which amounts to €1.95 to €3.15 trillion.
Improvements in gender equality would lead to an additional 10.5 million jobs in 2050, which would benefit both women and men. About 70% of these jobs would be taken by women, however female and male employment rates meet in the long run, reaching an 80% employment rate by 2050.
Research shows that women work 10 percent harder than men in today’s offices despite distractions.
Yet, they are grossly unrepresented in several careers and routinely underpaid. In collaborative work cultures, women often bear the brunt of the hard work. Yet they enjoy lesser financial and other benefits than men. While everyone is grappling with the question of how to ensure gender parity, what can women do? Women can help themselves:
- By believing in their capabilities
- By taking ownership of their lives and success
- By training themselves to be equals and sitting at the board room table
And this is why coaching for women has to be a differentiated, targeted offering. I have written a similar blog about women empowerment coaching earlier. Do look it up as I have discussed why we need to focus on empowering more women through coaching.
To understand what coaching for women involves, let us understand what this specific type of coaching is all about.
Coaching for women is largely about
- Understanding the psychology of women
- Appreciating the circumstances in which they have been raised
- Teaching them to take ownership of their lives
This article in the Harvard Business Review talks about how difficult it is for most women to speak up and ‘be heard’ at meetings. Although the piece is dated, it brings up some relevant hurdles that women in leadership positions may face. However, there is no real solution provided to those problems.
The article ends on how bosses and colleagues should invite women to speak up and arrange for them to be comfortable. In real life, I do not see this happening as a large-scale reality. This leaves us with the solution that I am about to propose.
Instead of depending on external factors for hard-working women in a corporate environment, why not try to empower the women themselves?
This is where coaching for women can be particularly helpful. And since this is the niche you have chosen, you are in luck!
Here are some specific ways you can help train female leaders. You may want to include these in your pitch, to suggest what coaching for women should involve.
- Identify and train future leaders. This directly impacts a company’s baseline
- Break the glass ceiling, enabling diversity within organizations
- Enable and encourage work-life balance
- Develop the self-confidence, self-esteem and increase efficacy at work
- Deal with feelings of inadequacy and develop careers
- Have a well-balanced workforce which has proven to be successful. A survey mentioned here shows how advances in gender equality can result in a $12 trillion boost to the global GDP by 2025.
I have mentioned this earlier in another blog post but the data below is particularly useful here.
In the United States of America, gender differences do persist even now across industries. You will find some interesting statistics in the article Gender Differences in Sectors of Employment by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The website provides relevant data from most states.
Challenges while Coaching for Women
Although the market is huge, I often find new coaches worrying about their business opportunities, particularly while coaching for women.
I understand your dilemma. I really do. Irrespective of whether you are starting out in your career by coaching for women or you are an expert, the following questions are relevant for you.
Do you wonder
- How will I get clients? How will I start/sustain my business since there are currently fewer women in top leadership positions?
- How can I get noticed for my niche coaching services in an overcrowded market?
- How will I advertise and promote my coaching for women’s services?
- Will I earn enough to have a good life?
- Should I quit my job to start my practice of coaching for women? Is it too unique to be widely accepted?
If such thoughts have kept you up at night, don’t worry. You are not alone. I will get around to addressing each of your queries above. Read on till the end.
First, let us start with what you can do to prepare while coaching for women.
In a previous blog Top 10 Coaching Skills You Must Have as a Life Coach, I have mentioned several qualities that all great coaches share. You may want to look at my blog and this article for pointers.
According to the article published in the International Coaching Psychology Review, a systematic review of studies found five factors that determine the effectiveness of a positive coaching relationship. These include:
- Establishing and maintaining trust. This is crucial in all coaching engagements and the onus for building that trust rests on you. Start by setting goals and boundaries and stick to them.
- The coach’s empathetic approach towards a client’s emotional responses and problems. Your kind, calm yet firm response will help the client tide over any emotional distress. Be there for your client!
- Two-way communication is key. Sign up for a partnership when you are hired to impart coaching for women. Set the ground rules and ensure that everyone is accountable for fulfilling his set of responsibilities.
- The coach’s ability to facilitate and help the client’s learning and development to reach goals. This is why you have been hired, so keep the larger objective in mind if you face a hurdle. The end result will determine your efficacy when coaching for women.
- A clear contract and transparent process. Be clear about who has access to client files and results when you sign up for coaching for women.
These qualities mentioned are helpful for all coaches, especially for those offering coaching for women as a service.
In my blog Types of Coaching Styles and Models, Every Coach Should Know About, I have mentioned some of the styles you can adopt while coaching for women.
Are there certain specific degrees that your client is looking for?
Besides a willingness to help people, the traits that make for a good coach are common to all coaches.
However, clients may look for female coaches as they may feel that they are better placed to understand challenges while coaching for women.
Getting a degree is a good idea. There are several institutes offering degrees or diplomas as I have mentioned in an earlier blog How to Select the Best Coaching Training Program in 2020.
As specified here, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) offers three levels of coaching certification, from associate to master level (www.coachfederation.org). Requirements include a specified number of hours working as a professional coach, as well as time spent with a coaching mentor.
No, you do not!
Till today, the coaching industry remains unregulated. This means everyone can claim to be an expert offering coaching for women. What will set you apart is your expertise, marketing yourself smartly, and getting great client recommendations.
Learn more about these in my blog Is Marketing Crucial to my Coaching Business?
In short, will you earn enough to offer a good life to your family while coaching for women?
Salaries differ when it comes to coaching as I have mentioned earlier. This website reports that on average life coaches make $160 per hour. Executive coaches make $325 per hour and business coaches make $235 per hour. According to Payscale.com, the average salary of an executive coach in the United States is $98,264. But this website states that the average salary ranges from $15.96 (Career Coach) to $81.58 (Agile Coach) per hour.
This vast difference is more evident in https://erickson.edu/blog/how-much-does-coaching-pay. The website states that the range of executive coach salary is quite large. This is because these coaches work with leaders such as CEOs, CMOs. Salaries start at $150 and can go up to $350 for most coaches. Executive coaches can also charge $1,000 per session. Such coaches offer life coaching, strategic sound-boarding, and other support.
This vast difference in salaries is partly due to the unregulated industry. There is not enough information on salaries that women empowerment coaches earn.
However, a study suggests that women CEOs may be lesser in numbers. But the salaries they draw are higher than their male counterparts. This probably will generate higher returns for coaches when they specialize in coaching for women.
Coaching is a growing industry as the numbers show.
I have mentioned these statistics in my earlier blog posts as well. But this sets the context in terms of what you can expect to earn while coaching for women.
- The International Coach Federation boasts 53,300 members. It has a steady growth trend.
- The average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100. Specialty coaches can charge more than $100,000 annually.
- Growth projections for the life coaching industry are an estimated 6.7%. This would take revenues to $1.34 billion by 2022.
- 92% of life coaches remain active in the field.
- In Asia, there were around 3,700 coaches. They contributed $113 million in total annual revenue.
- More and more corporations are hiring life coaches instead of mental health counselors to work with employees (no stigma).
- Life coaches remain unregulated. There are no state licensing requirements. This suggests freedom of practice, but also raises concerns about quality.
- Executive coaches can earn a handsome salary too. Salaries start at $150 and can go up to $350 for most coaches. Executive coaches can also charge $1,000 per session.
This news report reported from the 2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study. The research was also conducted by PwC Research. It stated:
- 89% of people in India are aware of life coaching
- 59% have partnered with a life coach at some time
- 97% expressed satisfaction with the experience
Since you will be operating within a very specific but growing niche, tap into this enormous market.
Now, you may be wondering how you will get your brand name noticed? The market is evolving and growing. But the competition is also getting tougher. You may want to refer to my blog How to promote your life coaching business? for more on this.
A simple Google search will show you several resources, books, and podcasts online. While coaching for women, you may want to look up some of these.
Here is a list of Top 30 Women Empowerment Blogs and Websites for Women in 2020. You may also want to look at this list of Top 20 female career coaches to follow right now. Following the careers of these high-performing women will give you the much-needed boost to pursue your own calling.
You may also want to read my blog on Best Executive Coaches to Follow in 2020.
While writing my blog on women empowerment coaching, I made a surprising discovery.
Type the words “Books + women empowerment coaching” into the search button on Google.
What I did come across was a list on Bustle.com: 13 Motivational Books By Women To Read If You Need A Little Bit Of Life Coaching. Some of the other related books on Amazon.com are For Everything Woman: 21 Life Lessons to Help You Unlock Your Full Potential A Woman’s Empowerment Coaching Guide Paperback by Coach Lady. A slightly different but related book on sports coaching is Was It Something I Said? A Guide to Coaching Female Athletes by Vanessa Sullivan and Mike Tully.
Several other relevant links came up. But there is no definitive list of empowerment coaching by/for women?
Surprising, isn’t it? But every gap can be an opportunity.
Use this gap in the market and write your own book!
You can thank me later for this business idea related to coaching model!
There are several YouTube videos and podcasts while coaching for women online.