Investing in Genius women

In March 2023, we launched our first Women’s Mentoring & Coaching Programme.

Traditionally, women have been under-represented within both the sports and technology industries. As such, you can probably guess that we are all the more determined to increase the number of female employees in our industry – particularly so in more senior roles.

We designed and implemented our Women’s Mentoring and Coaching Programme to help invest in our female talent, and support and encourage more women to grow their careers at Genius.

The programme had two main goals: to upskill our female talent and to build a sense of inclusion.

“We wanted to help our female employees grow – by gaining new and developing existing skills and contacts across the business, to help their career development at Genius,” said Jasmina Khaira, one of the authors of the programme.

“The other objective was to create a deeper sense of connection and unity amongst our female employees. The programme provides the opportunity to build relationships with female and male employes across the company, potentially in functions they do not always work across, to add to and develop a supportive community,” Jasmina continued.

The pilot programme had 132 male and female employees participate last year with mentors (both male and female employees) and mentees (only female employees) matched up across the company. The mentoring sessions were complemented by six group coaching sessions led by Executive Coach, Lisa Quinn. The sessions were designed around topics such as imposter syndrome, people pleasing, and having difficult conversations.

“The Genius team were really clear that they wanted the workshops to be an opportunity for women in the programme to get a chance to connect with each other, and to be offered some practical insights and tools that they could apply in their working lives,” said Lisa.

“Our aim was to give everyone some time and space to step away from their busy roles and to realise that other people often experience the same challenges that they do – that if you experience Imposterism for example – that you are not alone.

“Each workshop included tried and tested coaching tools – such as open questions and practical frameworks, and we encouraged participants to think in ways that perhaps they hadn’t been asked to before. Small breakout rooms created intimacy, so everyone got a chance to connect with and share with colleagues, in a safe space. Each workshop included a section on application – encouraging participants to think about how they wanted to apply what they had learned in the sessions,” Lisa added.

Although the programme was designed for mentoring female employees, male employees were encouraged to become mentors and join the group workshops too, with the aim of increasing allyship across the business and support their professional development too.

“We are really delighted that we will be running the Women’s Mentoring & Coaching programme again in 2024 after a successful pilot last year,” said Amy Lazell, who helps run the programme. “We are currently in the enrolment phase, with a view to launching in March in line with International Women’s Day. We are looking forward to working with Lisa Quinn again and tackling new coaching topics, based on feedback and requests from current participants.”

Leidy Sandoval, one of the 2023 participants, commented: “It has been immensely valuable to me, offering not just professional development but also a really supportive community. Discovering that I am not the only one facing challenges has been a huge relief; realising others are navigating similar paths creates a powerful sense of unity. The feeling of ‘we are in this together’ makes the whole experience truly special.”

Have you been a mentee or mentor before? How did you find the experience? Did it help you with your career and professional development goals? Visit our Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Life pages to find out more about this and other initiatives we are investing in to help our female employees discover and grow their genius.