Ayesha Murray is a career and work life balance coach for working parents, based in the UK. After 20 years in a corporate marketing career, and after having her two daughters, she decided to retrain as a coach to support working parents who want a fulfilling career alongside a balanced family life. She lives in London with her family, her cat and her labrador and loves nothing more than long walks, wine and box sets!
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before the venture/ corporate journey?
I grew up in London, in a happy family of mixed heritage (Indian, Sri Lankan, English, Welsh, Scottish) which certainly shaped who I am today. My upbringing has given me a sense of adventure and curiosity about cultures, people, values and behaviours which I bring into my coaching work today.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business/initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”
My motivation was 100% my personal experience of the working parent juggle. My natural inclination to support and motivate people combined with my insights into the challenges working parents were facing drove me to change my career and follow my passion.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
I’m trying to give working parents a voice, to help them develop the self-belief they need to design a life that works for them and their families. To find a career path that fulfils and energises them as well as having the balanced, happy family life they so richly deserve.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I was honoured to chair a panel at the House of Commons in London on parental support reform. The event was hosted by the John Lewis Partnership.
I host my own podcast, The Parent Equation, which has been going for 2 years, where working parents share their stories of career and family.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would like to see working mothers get the opportunities and support to become truly financially independent. I’d like to see parental guilt lifted and more women giving themselves permission to put themselves first, to design a life that works for them and their families.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
Through my coaching, I work with many women in leadership who are carving their space in the corporate world. There’s still a feeling from some of them that they don’t deserve to be there, or that they are judged because of family commitments (fathers too) so there needs to be a widespread organisational culture shift.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t compare yourself to others, stand by your values, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to celebrate your achievements.