Mel Stanley

Mel Stanley is the next generation of female leaders with the tools and strategies which will help them stand out, be visible and get promoted faster. Her organisation supports gender equality in Senior leadership and Board level roles and she believes that without more women stepping up to the plate, feeling able and supported in taking on leadership roles, the existing inequality isn’t going to change.

Tell us about your life before the venture/leading up to your venture?  

I was a Brand and Marketing Strategist for 25 years working with some of the largest UK and Global Brands. I took my first Board position at 33 and held 2 others and became a Non-Executive Director before hanging up my heels and starting FirstWoman.

Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?

FirstWoman is dedicated to helping professional women build their Personal Brand and raise their profile. I offer a number of different coaching options, all priced at the ‘affordable’ level as this isn’t about Execs. This is about helping Senior/Middle management women advance their careers. The programmes and courses are all based on a simple framework: Where are you now – Where do you want to be – How to get there.

What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?

I started FirstWoman in September 2019 as a face to face corporate service but COVID put paid to that. In March 2020 I had to quickly pivot online along with the rest of the world but it was also a turning point in the business. I had always thought of my Personal Brand as being a Trainer and not a coach, but as it turns out it has been phenomenally successful. 

It was never my intention for this to be a full-time business, but it has exceeded my expectations. However the real satisfaction comes from knowing I have made a positive transformational difference to my clients lives and careers. 

That is my greatest achievement.

What’s a leadership lesson that you’ve learnt that’s unique to being a female leader?

Personally I’m much less stressed and definitely more healthy. I have the work/life balance I didn’t ever manage to find when I was employed, but more than that, I have a meaning and a purpose to what I do. I spent too many years selling products I didn’t believe in to people who didn’t want them. I absolutely have 100% conviction in what I do and the difference it makes, and that’s the game changer.

Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.

We all have doubts and when they come knocking, face the fear and do it anyway!