Parental transition coaching
Our individual and group coaching programmes help those returning from extended maternity and paternity leave to get back up to speed quickly and confidently.

Why coach people returning from parental leave?

Parental leave is a time of great upheaval and change in an individual's life. Less than 1 in 5 women feel confident returning to work following maternity leave, and 37% consider handing in their notice due to lack of support. Too often talented individuals are lost by organisations during this transition, putting even greater pressure on the female talent pipeline. Coaching during this critical transition can help ensure a smooth reassimilation back into the workforce - for both men and women returners - in turn reducing turnover and increasing engagement.

Who is it for?

Women and men about to embark on a period of maternity leave or extended paternity leave

What support is available?


Working closely with the HR team, we design a programme to suit your business needs, with several options:

  • 1-to-1 coaching for senior leaders

    • A standard 6-session programme covers pre-maternity / paternity leave through to successful return to work and further career planning

    • A shorter version of this is also available, covering the first three sessions


  • Group coaching for graduate to manager level employees

    • Two group coaching sessions of 1.5 hours are scheduled – before and after maternity leave, with a 1-to-1 online coaching session during maternity leave

  • Webinars for managers

    • For managers who have responsibility for a pregnant employee, two webinars are offered, covering best practices in supporting the maternity leaver and ensuring a successful return to work – the first prior to maternity leave, and the second upon the individual’s return to work

What does the individual coaching cover?

Our individual coaching programmes are typically 6 sessions in duration.  Topics covered will vary with the needs of the individual, but the following themes often emerge:

  • Preparation for parental leave (pre-leave):

    • 3-way expectations setting meeting with the line leader

    • Leaving work practicalities 

    • Keeping in touch effectively 

    • Managing self 

    • Managing career

  • Building a return to work plan for a confident and successful return (c. 1 month prior to return):

    • Re-establishing relationships

    • Practical considerations at work

    • Practical considerations at home

    • Managing self

  • Maximising impact on return from leave (within first month of return)

    • Supporting progress on the return to work plan

    • Getting back up to speed, establishing new networks

    • Managing self 

    • Finding the right work-life balance and boundary setting

  • Career sustainability (3-6 months post return) - often two sessions

    • Supporting progress on the return to work plan

    • Revisiting career goals and aspirations and developing a career plan

    • Implications of family decisions on careers and vice versa 

    • Managing self 

  • Career accelerator (12 months post return)

    • Revisiting career goals and aspirations and progress against career plan

    • Dealing with obstacles and constraints

How long is the programme?


Individual coaching programmes can be either 3 or 6 sessions

Group coaching programmes typically run over 3 sessions 

Your coach


How do I get started?

Contact me to arrange a complimentary 30 minute chemistry session - either via Zoom or in person, diaries and location permitting - to see whether this programme is right for you.

Sharon Peake, career coach, occupational psychologist, gender diversity specialist, founder of Shape Talent and mother of a toddler