UCL and PfP Coaching Win Award!

Madiha Sajid, Postgraduate Co-ordinator at UCL, has been awarded the UCL Provost’s Excellence Award for setting up the Parents and Carers Network and for PfP’s maternity coaching sessions.

The UCL Provost’s Excellence scheme, which was set up by Professor Michael Arthur, recognises truly exceptional contributions from across UCL, with a particular emphasis on furthering UCL values.

Michael Arthur says:

“Madiha displayed exceptional leadership in establishing and coordinating the UCL Parents and Carers Network (PACT). The group’s coaching sessions have provided practical support to UCL staff and are very well received.”

We have been working with UCL since 2014.  We have run small-group maternity coaching workshops, which focussed on supporting those staff who are pregnant at work.  We supported them to manage their personal change journey proactively, by preparing for their maternity leave.  We looked at practical elements such as preparing handover and Keeping in Touch plans, as well as ways to enhance their personal and professional networks for good levels of support.

We also run sessions for those returning from leave – which is a crucial time for support when confidence levels can be low.  With an average group size of 8 participants, a supportive network was created, for sharing tips and experience, as well as a support group going forward.  Time and stress management has been the focus of the returner workshops, in addition to re-engaging with careers going forward.

UCL’s dads have also been supported!  In the light of the introduction of Shared Parental Leave, and the fact that society now expects very different things from our working dads, it has been crucial to get this group together.  We explored the impact of these societal changes and looked at what changes needed to be made to personal work/family balance and time management at work, to embrace the new role of the working father.

Madiha says:  ‘’I have been blessed with a beautiful 11 years old girl who has given me the gift of parenthood. Combining full time employment with parental responsibilities can be quite challenging. I welcome any support/advice that I get at work to achieve a good life/work balance. This is primarily the reason we set up a network for parents and carers across UCL. As part of this network, we have been running coaching sessions for staff members who are either thinking of taking maternity leave or coming back from it. This series has been hugely popular, reflecting on the fact that there is a strong need for support across UCL. I am lucky to work at an organisation that fosters and promotes life/work balance and provides us with opportunities to take initiatives such as the PACT network.’’

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