Photo of Abbie Coleman

Abbie Coleman

Abbie Coleman has been nominated by her friend, Katie Mallinson. Katie says “Abbie is a working mum on a mission! She is championing the role of intelligent women who are successful in their careers and a fantastic parent.

She tells their stories – or invites them to share their own experiences and advice in her Mothers Mean Business magazine and blog. And she tries to ensure their voices are heard in the workplace too, in a bid to champion more opportunities for part time careers (not just jobs).

The result is a sense of empowerment, knowledge sharing, and a commitment to doing it all in style! Her passion is infectious and she’s quite right in her plight – why should talent be mothballed when women enter motherhood?”

Who will the initiative help/who has it helped already?

“Abbie explain this far better than me (I’m simply nominating her to hopefully give her a MASSIVE shout out so if you could get some specific facts from her that would be amazing!) But she’s helping ‘ordinary’ working mums thrive in both their work and home lives.

With nearly 9000 followers on Twitter, this gives a sense of how far her venture has come in only a couple of years. Empowering interviews have been conducted with the likes of Angela Williams – assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, paracycling athlete Caroline Wareing, actress Adele Silva and TV presenter Emma Forbes, to name just a few.

And as the concept spreads from a West & North Yorkshire venture, to one with a new base in South Yorkshire, and another launching shortly in the North West, demand for MMB’s support is clear.”

What’s worked?

“The authenticity of the idea and the genuine passion Abbie has for working mother flexibility, means that, with hard graft, everything has been a success so far.

Highlights include the launch of a printed magazine, expansion throughout further parts of the North, a flexible working jobs board, high profile interviews, monthly networking, board level invite-only lunches and so on.

Her high level events e.g. HR only seminars on flexible working, with senior presenters from the world of business, have also been extremely well received.”

What have you learnt? Any challenges?

“Abbie has taken on a significant – and at times costly – project that is not for the fainthearted. Building a commercially robust venture from her concept has been far from easy. It’s meant long hours, personal investment, learning from mistakes (e.g. with the website) and investigating different business models to fund MMB’s growth.

At all times she’s also been communicating with two distinct audiences too – mothers (and fathers) and employers, so at times instigating change has been slow. She would be the first to say it’s been challenging every step of the way.

But because she has such a personal passion for the purpose underpinning MMB, this keeps her motivation levels up. Her network and integrity has undoubtedly proven invaluable in her spreading the word.”

What’s next?

“New areas, more members, more interviews, more bloggers, more face-to-face events (but again, she’ll explain this better than me!)”

What advice, contacts or resources would help?

“Abbie’s success is a result of the network she has built and continues to grow. She seeks out experts in different fields to pass on more advice from finance to fashion. More contacts would be great, throughout West Yorkshire and her other emerging areas.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!

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