Sharon is a Certified Professional Coach (PCC) working with executives, directors, and mobile employees of international companies, a cross-cultural trainer helping people to effectively manage international relations, global business behaviors, and virtual worldwide teams, and a consultant for relocation and transitions in life.
She brings 30+ years of experience working with the global market (private and diplomatic) and has lived and worked in 4 countries – Venezuela, Canada, Belgium, and Myanmar for 14.5 years.
Sharon has a B.A. in social sciences, a graduate certificate in communication and journalism, master’s level studies in public communication, and a professional coaching certificate from the International School of Coaching (CTI), the Coaches association in Israel, and the International Coaches Federation (ICF)
WIA: What brought you to the Women’s Impact Alliance?
Sharon: I’m very passionate about contributing to the community and inspired by people who make a social impact. Besides that, women still suffer from discrimination and disadvantages, and as a mother to 3 boys, I also wanted to contribute to women’s development.
As soon as I did my coaching certification, I decided that I would volunteer for any type of organization that is helping out women because I want to take part in it and contribute.
I fell in love with WIA when I found it on the Internet because of its social impact on contributing to society and the global world. If you make a change for one person, they make a change for one more person and that keeps going.
WIA: What do you enjoy about being a WIA coach?
Sharon: These women are so passionate and so hard-working, but often they may not have colleagues to speak with because of politics or how their business is structured. It can be very lonely when you don’t have someone you trust to pour your heart into. I try to give them more clarity, more confidence, more awareness, and more appreciation of themselves with a lot of kindness. I think this support helps them be more effective at work and to think about their future - where they see themselves going that reflects their values and desires.
WIA: Are there any common coaching themes you’ve picked up on?
Sharon: I see themes of perfectionism, self-criticism, and blaming oneself - judging too much. I also see situations of too much masculinity and how to deal effectively with that. So I see my place as normalizing those feelings and supporting them with kindness, hope, and light.
WIA: Talk about the change and the transformation that you’ve witnessed with the Fellows you’ve coached.
Sharon: Yes, I’ve seen Fellows raise their level of confidence and assertiveness as well. They learn how to ask for what they want. Many are taught not to show their emotions or feelings in the business world. We work together to learn they are allowed to have feelings. It’s really about embracing the emotions, feeling comfortable with them, and behaving with them together, not trying to push them away. I’ve witnessed these women become even more authentic to who they are as a person. They find clarity, awareness, and connectedness to their whole self and believe they can make positive change.
WIA: What is your advice to somebody considering applying for the WIA program?
Sharon: First is to do some research about what coaching is. I find that many new Fellows are new to coaching and may have a vague idea about it. I would want them to know that beyond the scheduled hours we have together there is homework and self-reflection, which are all part of the learning process. They may not be ready for the commitment, so just to assess if it’s the right time in their lives to take this on. I would also recommend for those women in the program take advantage of the pods of Fellows because you meet other women to support you. And then, you can gain many diverse perspectives about your coaching experience and the issues you’re facing as a leader.
WIA: What are some of the benefits of being a part of the WIA program?
Sharon: The Fellows can benefit from networking during the program and keeping in touch with other Fellows when the program ends. Also, they can always go back to their coaching journey and all the tools they’ve learned whenever they are challenged or struggling. What they’ve experienced and learned can be used all the time, and they can continue to develop and work on themselves with this knowledge.
WIA: Anything more you’d like to share about WIA?
Sharon: The passion and the love and the kindness that Jane and the WIA staff give to this mission - it’s just amazing. I love meeting people from so many backgrounds and cultures. The coaching gives me the opportunity to be very attentive and empathetic about all the nuances of culture. It’s not just one perspective. It’s the perspective of many women, and that’s what WIA is all about. I really, really, really feel very much connected to this mission. I have learned so much from the Fellows themselves. It’s not just one-sided from the coach’s side. These women also give us their adventures and how they look at life. This work is such a pleasure.