Catalyst Collective is a boutique female-founded and female-run business specialising in creating transformational resources to equip women to step up in their leadership.
They create online and face to face to programmes, as well as thought leadership pieces, like their recent Gender Pay Gap – What Next? guide. Focusing on female talent development, they also consult with organisations who want to create more inclusive cultures.
Catalyst Collective take an intersectional approach in their work and seek to elevate diverse women’s voices.
”As two white, cis, straight, 40-something women, we’re intentional about seeking out partners and collaborators to join the collective who bring diversity to our team of co-writers, coaches, facilitators and event hosts.”
Co-founded by Fiona and Katy, Co-founders Fiona and Katy met in 2016, both at the point of burnout with clients wanting more and more from them. They discovered that they both shared the same passion and desire to equip and enable women to change the world, shortly after this – Catalyst Collective was born.
Based in the beautiful Orkney Islands, Co-founder Fiona is an International Coaching Federation certified coach and change agent and describes her purpose as helping others achieve their full potential. Katy lives in the equally gorgeous Lake District. She has over 20 years’ global experience leading teams, facilitating change and developing leaders, and is also a INLPTA Qualified Coach.
1. Hi Katy, Hi Fiona! Can you start off with telling us a bit more about why you founded Catalyst Collective?
We set up in 2017 – initially thinking we’d do some blog writing together. This quickly became ‘oh there is so much more we can create together!’
Katy was consulting with global businesses and travelling long-haul every month, Fi was away from home with corporate clients every other week. Our clients were wanting more from us than we could deliver, we were ambitious for more impact, but also knew our lifestyles were not sustainable at that pace. We sensed the potential for something really different and exciting, and were open to big changes. We started exploring how we could unlock the magic of our 1-1 coaching and group facilitation practice and make our 20 years (each!) of wisdom available for more women globally. Catalyst Collective was born.
2. And can you tell us about your successes so far?
We knew we didn’t want to set up a traditional consultancy, nor replicate some of the systems we’d already been part of.
We’re curious how we can model collaborative leadership, allowing each other’s strengths to shine, without comparing ourselves or competing with one another (which is often our socialised response as women). As we lift ourselves with this mind-set we’re seeing that this allows space for other women to lift and rise as well.
We’re really aligned around our values and shared sense of the transformational resources that we want to create, and we’re quite different as well. So, a challenge has been how to do we keep our relationship really healthy and ‘clean’, while we’re also running fast and scaling at pace.
There are weeks over the last 2 years where we’ve been doing things we’ve never done before every day! This takes massive energy and a mindset of learning, humility and boldness.
3. As female co-founders, what would be your advice to other women just starting in business?
Have a financial buffer before you jump into a start-up situation so that scarcity is not driving your business decisions. Know that it’s likely to take longer than you think to reach your goals. And know that over time you can achieve more than you think you can. Get really clear about what you want to create and why. Be ready for massive learning curves. Surround yourself with role models (can be online as well as IRL) who expand your possibility thinking. Intentionally cultivate supportive and challenging relationships with other women who will proactively cheer lead you.
4. Obviously Catalyst Collective is in line with our #WomenInSMEs campaign, can you offer a comment on why you think it's important?
Catalyst Collective is all about elevating women’s voices, equipping women to lead as their best selves, and enabling women to live the lives they want. We know that women run businesses create a positive ripple effect in their wider families and communities.
We also know women are not magic!
We equip women to navigate organisational life and the systemic bias that plays out in the workplace. We also see a trend of many women leaving traditional corporate settings and setting up their own enterprises. Women want flexibility and space to bring their talents without the barriers and constraints that exist in many (traditionally patriarchal) workplaces.
We want to see diverse women represented in this campaign!
Connect With Catalyst Collective
Readers can access our Working Women’s Guide to Gender Bias and How to Beat It here – it’s a must-read for women and men!
You can get your own free copy of Gender Pay Gap – What Next here - it’s packed with strategies and tips for individual women to make a difference.
LinkedIn: Catalyst Collective