Inspirational Woman: Lucienne Shakir | Master Accredited Coach & Founder and CVO, Lucienne Coaching Ltd.

Lucienne ShakirLucienne is a female empowerment specialist. A personal and professional high performance coach giving frustrated, female professionals a life to love.

She is passionate about guiding women in leadership roles to live their lives without the pressure and stress associated with performing their executive careers with a veneer of perfection.

She also works with organisations where equality is the gold standard. Her long term vision is to improve our corporate infrastructure to ensure parity of voice, diversity and increased performance.

Having lived through intense pressure as a senior leader, she has used her life experience to support the increasing demand for high-level coaching in executive spheres.

Marriage, divorce, nervous breakdown, identity crisis, becoming a mother, male dominated workforces – you name it, she’s probably been there!

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Lucienne Shakir – 36

Founder of Lucienne Coaching Ltd. and ‘A Life to Love Membership’ – for frustrated, female professionals who want a life to love.

I have 3 arms to my business:

  • Private 1:1 Coaching for Female Professionals
  • Corporate Coaching, Mentorship and Leadership programmes for organisations that wish to attract, hire and keep top female talent.
  • A Membership – created for those for whom the investment of 1:1 both financially and time wise is not currently possible. This includes group coaching 2ce a week, a Mastermind and guest speakers.

2.5 years ago I left a 12 year career in Education to set up a new business in Coaching and Mentoring for frustrated, female professionals. I did this due to my disillusionment in the Education system, where I saw countless pupils being pushed down an academic route resulting in them feeling anxious, stressed and less holistically happy when they left our schools aged 18.

I had been one of those students, however I didn’t realise that until recently.

Constantly looking for external validation that I was ‘good enough’ to be a Director in Education, I spent thousands of pounds and hours on a Master’s in Education, countless leadership programmes and Master Mind groups.

I then enrolled on a PhD in Coaching and Mentoring but have put it on hold as I now know the reasons for me doing it were simply for validation.

I now work to create a corporate and coaching world where equality is the gold standard. Regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, ability – I believe we have a duty to work towards a world which is equal.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I was of the belief that you had one job forever. I did my Master’s whilst working full time in a secondary school and pregnant with my son. I was always told I was destined for Headship and felt it was like a pre-ordained route.

After a nervous breakdown 8 years ago (after the birth of my son) I went straight back to work as soon as I was able as this is where I felt my identity was strongest.

It was a mistake.

However – I did learn that I could do so much more than attempt to please the others around me. When I decided to leave arguably the most secure job in the world (working in Education in the UK) I set about supporting women like me who had spent years building their CV’s to get to the top – only to find themselves silenced and restricted when they got there.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Plenty. But I’d do it all exactly the same to be where I am now.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Raising my son, who was excluded from his first primary school age 6 due to the school’s misunderstanding of his educational needs. He is now 9 – has been diagnosed with a number of neuro diverse behaviours (ASD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder) When he was 6 he was saying he didn’t want to live anymore. Now – aged 9 and in a school that understands him; he is the happiest little munchkin I know!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I take action. I left a marriage where everything was seemingly okay because I was unhappy. I left a career where everything was seemingly okay because I was unhappy.

Many of my friends have endured relationships / careers that they don’t enjoy. I don’t stay somewhere due to comfort. If I’m unhappy – I will work on myself and the situation to see if I can improve it, and if not – I take action.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I coach many women, and I mentor some who are starting their own businesses or moving out of their corporate roles. I believe mentorship and coaching (whilst very different in approach) when done by a qualified coach or a mentee who has been through the process is key to sustained success.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

If I could wave a magic wand, I would ensure the quotas on all male, white boards were changed to represent the many genders, cognitive diversity and ethnicities we see in the world.

I would also promote a rhetoric of HOPE. We need to believe we can have better infrastructures, and I truly believe we can.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Ask for help sooner. You don’t have to do it alone, and you have no one to prove anything to but yourself. Reach out.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I have found the charlatanism in the coaching and mentoring world to be horrendous. I disagree with any business structure that preys on the weak and manipulates them into spending money for a ‘brighter future.’ My challenge therefore is to build a successful business in coaching and mentoring, without being associated with those whose business practices are unethical.

I hope to achieve an excellent support system through my membership, which educates, supports and hold to account those women and girls who need guidance in the form of coaching, but who, for whatever reason are unable to afford it financially or are restricted by time.

I am approaching the 3rd year of my business, and therefore want to get the messaging right so that the purpose of what I do is well communicated. I also want to develop my network of influence, which is why I am thrilled to now be in touch with WeAreTheCity.

WeAreTheCity has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Cherie Blair, Paula Radcliffe MBE, Caprice Bourret, Anna Williamson and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here

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