Gemma Stow, Performance Confidence Coach
Helping introvert female business leaders to have impact, presence and feel good in the spotlight
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to change the world and make it a better place for everyone to thrive and be happy. When I was eight, I remember writing this down in one of my schoolbooks.
As I got older, I did some travelling and worked abroad before finishing my university degree. I then spent eight years working with both vulnerable and dangerous individuals as a probation officer – a role I loved because it matched my core beliefs that everybody has potential and everybody can change.
After having my first child I experienced postnatal depression – and although a tough time, I realised I needed to work and it gave me some much-needed clarity to seek a new challenge.
My passion to support other people in unlocking their potential has always been there, so I started my own private company in 2008 named Skillz Education – an alternative education centre for 11 to 16-year-olds who weren’t fulfilling their capability in mainstream schools. Over the next seven years the centre worked with more than 350 young people – earning a well-respected reputation and winning a Network She Citizenship Award. The work-life balance was sometimes difficult – especially as I’d become a mum again – but I did my absolute best to make it work.
In January 2016 it was time to open a new chapter and I started to offer my services as a performance confidence coach. ICF-accredited and an avid student of NLP, motivational interviewing and CBT, I’m on a mission called ‘No More Hiding’ to encourage women – especially introvert leaders – to be more visible and own and promote their expertise. Leading by example, I share my own ups and downs of coming out from behind the scenes.
My principle is that you can follow your heart’s desire and have the career you want, yet continue to be there for everyone in your life who matters; it’s OK to be ambitious and not settle for anything less. I truly believe women can have it all… we just need to know what our ‘all’ looks like.
One of my favourite mottos is “Do what you can’t” because it enables anyone to find their fierce and be unstoppable!