Pauline Ferguson tells James Cracknell why she is determined to help women into the world of work
Women can face a unique set of challenges when entering the world of work – and Pauline Ferguson is determined to help them.
This year the former social worker is launching a series of workshops and coaching sessions designed to help empower women who may lack the confidence needed to approach potential employers and succeed in job interviews.
Pauline has identified several key factors that she says disproportionately affect women when they look for jobs; lack of self esteem, confidence, choice and hope all play a part in preventing women from making progress with their careers.
“I wanted to look at how to help women with no confidence who don’t believe they can get a job,” Pauline tells me. “When I was younger there were a lot of positive people around me who pushed me to go into work and that helped me to keep my focus and get to the level I did.
“I always remembered the people who helped me build my confidence and it became the backbone of everything I did. It was never easy but I think those people keep you going.”
After 20 years of being a social worker Pauline decided a few years ago to re-train as a psychotherapist, while also pursuing her passion of making jewellery and ceramics for sale at local markets.
With the support of UnLtd and Bountagu Big Local, Pauline is now determined to share her experience in the world of work to help empower other women to chase their dreams.
“The women I have worked with say that I don’t treat them like they are nothing, I respect them and show empathy.
“If you don’t have that in your life it can be very difficult to gain that confidence you need. I have seen women with such low confidence that they don’t even want to go to a training session. They are not getting the help they need from the job centre. I want to be that link between the two.”
Pauline began to run some taster sessions at The Ark in Edmonton to see whether her empowerment techniques could make a difference for women who were struggling.
“They were for women interested in health and social care. Not only did they find it positive, there were women who decided to go on into education.
“I decided to continue working with women in groups and in one-to-one sessions in order to facilitate that change and help these women contribute to society.
“My project is going to offer a series of workshops for women, building their confidence. Some of them may have not had a job interview in ten years. Isolation is one of the biggest issues women face, when they have been out of work for a long time, looking after children, and I am devising a programme specifically to help them and overcome the challenges they face.”
Pauline is now working on a launch event for the project and is looking for other organisations she could partner with in Edmonton to help fund it in the long-term.
“In reality there are lots of training courses out there that job centres pay for but they are often not effective – I think this will make a difference.
“If there is anyone out there who wants to come in for training or wants to work with me and needs that support, let me know.”
A launch event for Infuzion 7 takes place Wednesday 22nd January at The Ark, Edmonton. For more information:
Call 07517 991 708
Email [email protected]