I’m Sinead Sharkey-Steenson…founder of Generation Women and your Career and Leadership Coach.
I help women create careers they love by helping them change how they communicate.
You see, I know something that most people don’t realise. You create your career with what you put out there. That’s why knowing what you want, the value you add, and how to communicate it is at the centre of everything I do.
So how did it all start?
I spent the first half of my career in a thick fog, and of course I got lost and ended up somewhere I didn’t want to be. I felt lost, miserable, and what little confidence I had was waning by the minute.
I also became a total bore. I was consumed by how unhappy I was. I couldn’t even apply for another job because I didn’t know what I’d do. So I felt stuck.
I had, by many measures, a great job, a great salary, in a great company. But I was in the wrong place. I was ambitious with nowhere to direct it, so it evolved into frustration!
It took a fair bit of effort to turn it around, which started with working out what I wanted and developing some much needed confidence to get there. Thankfully I had a good basis with my Psychology degree, throw in a mountain of self-help books, a coaching and NLP qualification, a mountain of training on presenting and the like…and a real desire to build my brand, visbility, and expertise, meant I built a reputation for business and leadership transformation.
That experience of having a big impact, being recognised, and having real influence made me feel like I could achieve anything. My values, purpose, and strengths were all aligned and I felt amazing!
It came as quite a shock then to be confronted by my inner feminist one day. I’d had my first daughter (I now have 2), and was having a cheeky nap. You know how it is, I love my sleep! So for the first time ever, I sat her down in front of Nickelodeon so I could get some zzz’s.
I was happily snoozing away when the advertising started to filter through to me. The ‘boys toys’ were all exciting and adventurous. The ‘girls toys’ made me want to vomit. All about being pretty and vacuous.
I jumped off the sofa with an ‘oh hell no’!
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been driven by fairness. I think it may be because I’m the youngest of 4 and nothing ever seemed fair from my standpoint. My sister tells me of times I used to fight for gay rights at the dinner table and I was always arguing for what I felt was right (because it is).
The one thing I’d never have called myself back then, or until that day, was a feminist. No, I’d been well trained by society to see feminists as embarrassing, hairy, dungaree-wearing angry women who made a show of themselves.
This moment set a chain of events into action that lead me to start a political party where I live, and gave me the direction for the business I would later start.
Why I left the corporate world
It started to dawn on me how much shit I’d put up with over the years at work. I’ve always worked in 90% male organisations and had somehow not really seen it as an issue. The scales fell off.
The lack of progression. The unfair pay. The outright sexism and harassment. And I wanted better for my girls. And I want better for you, for the world!
So that’s how Generation Women was born! I left my successful career in 2016 because I knew that I could do more to support others in my own business.
My journey to creating a career I love has been the fuel for building this business. That, and my burning desire for equality. Now, I support women to achieve the greatness they deserve and level up so we can have less John’s and more Jean’s at the top of the business world.
I’ve ploughed my 20 years of global corporate experience, my talents as a coach and leadership expert, and my passion for helping others succeed into helping women get the career they love and the pay they deserve.
It was a scary move, and I was almost paralysed by Imposter Voices, but I made it and now know it’s the best move I’ve ever made.
So, here we are and I’ve now worked with thousands of women. Elevated their careers. Got them promotions. Got them seen and heard. Increased their salary (in some cases doubled or more)!
And I absolutely love it!!!
So here’s a promise you have to make when you work with me, when you elevate your career, you HAVE to send the elevator back down to help more women do the same!!
THE Official BIO
Sinead Sharkey-Steenson is the Founder and Director of Generation Women and is an experienced Senior Leadership and Development Coach, Facilitator, and Motivational Speaker. Generation Women is dedicated to facilitating the development of women to achieve greatness in business. Sinead draws on over 20 years of corporate experience in HR, Leadership Development, Business Improvement, and Cultural Transformation. She has worked with over 5,000 women and developed and delivered career and leadership programmes for multiple global organisations including; Sensata, Citi, Deloitte, Belfast International Airport, the IFAl, and Lean In. She holds a degree in Psychology, MSc in Human Resource Management, MSc in Computing and Information Systems, is an NLP Master Practitioner, and an ICF Certified Coach.
THE Personal STUFF
Who am I? You already know the work stuff, but of course there’s more to any of us. I love being a mum to my two girls, and I also love being a mum that works. A big reason for why I do what I do is them. I want to change the world for them, and I also want to be the best I can be for them (and myself of course!) And then there is my husband Dave. He helps makes it all work. He is my best supporter, a great dad, he keeps our home together. We will never change things until the men in the world step up and share the burden, and Dave does that and more for us. He is such a great role model for our girls. And of course there’s Lola! Our lovely, gentle, and endlessly patient dog!
I come from a large family where my mum, my sister and brothers, my aunts and uncles, and cousins are incredibly important. They all provide so much support and love, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with family. We love a big reunion, a family trip away, or a weekend hanging out together! Donegal is where I think of as home, even though I grew up in the north of England.
Outside of family, my loves are my bed, tv, spending time with friends, good food, wine, live music, live comedy, and walking somewhere breathtaking…in that order! And I love to travel and haven’t done nearly enough, so much of my vision board and day dreaming is made up of plans to visit a LOT more places!