I am interviewing Sarah Perugia. Sarah is an accredited Executive Leadership Coach, Team Facilitator and Key Note Speaker. One of her coaching programmes is called Women on a Mission which focuses on helping women entrepreneurs to build confidence and vision to overcome barriers. I hope to find out a little more about Sarah, her career and her focus on celebrating and supporting women leaders. This felt like a fitting topic to explore around International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is Each for Equal.

This is part 4 of our interview.

M: I saw on your website in your women’s coaching section to think about their one day dream. What is your one day dream now? It might have shifted but I am interested in what your one day dream is now.

S: I am absolutely in my ‘one day dream’ right now. I am surrounded by women who are just absolutely rocking it and doing amazing things. We have made such incredible progress, There is a growing community of strong supportive energised women. In terms of what’s my one day dream its to be part of that movement of ‘women for women’ and feel like in my own small way I can make a contribution. Every time I have a coaching session with a client and she walks away, understanding what success looks like for her, feeling empowered, feeling more confident, smiling, excited, ready to take action, then I go to bed happy. That’s all I need. It’s to be part of the movement. That’s what Women on a Mission, my 8-month coaching camp is about. It’s for women leaders and women entrepreneurs.  It’s creating a tribe of women who unconditionally have each others’ backs. Giving a space for each woman to define for themselves what success looks like. Then giving every woman what she needs to go out and make it happen.

M: What an amazing thing to say. I am living my one day dream. I think I have a much better idea of what you do in much more details and how it has shifted from being in the minority coaching to being one of “so many” who are coaching women. That is a good thing to be able to look round and say so many people are fighting this. I often frame feminism as a fight but actually I like how you talk about it as women supporting women and men as well. What we have now is really good but there’s more we can do let’s keep pushing together and having each other’s backs. That’s amazing strong place to be.

Celebration of success is vital to happiness and resilience. A few years ago I would ask clients, “What are you doing to celebrate international women’s day?” They would often look confused. Whereas now, two weeks every year, I don’t have time to think because I am going to so many events! Isn’t it wonderful that we are celebrating success and cheering women on their way.

M: Yes celebrating without apology.

S: There is one more thing about how we move the gender conversation forward that’s important to mention. If flexible working is available for everyone, without it limiting how senior they can be, or putting them at a disadvantage, then everyone wins. There are loads of men who would love to work flexibility, pick the children up from school and be there to read stories and cook the tea. There are a lot of women who would like to be the one in Munich giving a keynote speech. The more flexibility we give everyone, the more opportunity we give people to live happier fuller lives.

M: It’s about having the choice and that’s important. We should all be free to make those choices without judgement. We are not quite there yet and I agree that by having women in a stronger position to make choices and be more accepted in those roles it creates space for men to try different roles too. It’s a celebration and a conversation and it’s going in the right direction.