Nicky is a writer, podcast host and autism coach based in Derbyshire. She owns The Autism Coach, which provides coaching for late-diagnosed autistic adults who are ready to harness their autistic strengths, in either their business or personal life. She is the author of Through Autistic Eyes. She is a globally recognised motivational speaker, award-winning coach and transformation leader, whose work has touched the lives of many families across the world she currently lives with her teenage son, and furry friends in beautiful Derbyshire, and can often be found swimming in cold bodies of water and walking in the Derbyshire countryside.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before the venture/ corporate journey?

My early life was challenging, I started in corporate finance and eventually branched out to explore different businesses. In 2019 I took all that I’d learnt and built the business that I have now, which helps people like me who have felt like they didn’t fit in or belong in this world.

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!”

I’d spent a lifetime feeling different; women are typically taught to play small, and I didn’t want that for myself or others. When you’re autistic you’re part of a marginalised group, which means you’re conditioned to be even smaller and that is something I wanted to change through my coaching. I spent over a decade learning and developing personal development skills and when I realised I’m autistic I took those tools and taught them in a war that helped autistic people to make positive changes in their lives and give them the ability to communicate their needs to others in their environments.

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

Autism is still seen as a negative thing and it comes with its unique set of strengths, which are different for every person. I’m trying to help (along with others) to change the narrative so that autism isn’t seen as a defect, it’s a different brain type, one that sees the world differently and that’s a good thing, it brings different qualities to the world.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I am an award-winning coach (Crea Awards) I was shortlisted as a finalist for the FSB small business awards for Diversity and Inclusion and I’m a best-selling author

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?

If you never ask the answer is always no, so get out of your own way, say yes to the things that bring you joy and ask for the opportunities as they come up, because if you don’t someone else will. Don’t let your gender hold you back.

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?

It’s growing and it needs to grow. Feminine energy and masculine energy are needed for balance and it’s far to male-led for far too long, this is changing and it needs too

What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Keep on going, even if your progress is tiny, it’s progress and you’re doing more than the person who didn’t start, so keep going and rest when you need to. In addition, work smarter not harder, you don’t need to work 25 hours a day 8 days a week to make an impact and have a successful business.