Department for Education (DfE)

Empowering Women Leaders in Education

Department for Education (DfE)

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.


In the educational landscape of England, a stark gender disparity existed between men and women in both classroom and leadership roles. While classrooms comprised approximately 70% female teachers and 30% male teachers, leadership roles were overwhelmingly occupied by men, with only 30% female representation. To bridge this gap, the Department for Education (DfE) initiated the “Women Leading in Education Coaching and Mentoring” scheme. We were entrusted with leading and managing this scheme, aiming to empower more women to step into leadership roles through coaching on various themes, including confidence-building and leadership skills development.


Our involvement in this project encompassed several critical components:

  • Establishment of the coaching and mentoring scheme.
  • Design principles and creation of an online system to facilitate the matching process.
  • Promotion of the scheme across social media platforms.
  • Coordination of events held nationwide.
  • Design and delivery of coaching and mentor training.
  • Development and establishment of Thought Leadership Pieces (TLP) on topics such as “Getting Inclusion on the Education Agenda,” with contributions published in reputable outlets like The Times.
  • Collaboration with educationalists, professional coaches, and coaching bodies to raise awareness, drive engagement, and enhance the quality of the coaching experience.



  • Our partnership with the DfE yielded impressive results and had a substantial impact on the education sector:
  • A remarkable 240% increase in coaching and mentoring relationships across the education sector.
  • Exceptionally positive user feedback on the platform’s ease of use and the quality of TLP content, motivating more women to participate as mentors and mentees.
  • A staggering 98% positive feedback rating for all 50 training events, with over 500 women attending 20 events.
  • A significant boost in career opportunities, reflected in a 34% increase in the number of women pursuing promotions in the past 12 months.
  • The publication of articles related to our work in esteemed educational publications, including the Times Educational Supplement.


This case study highlights our commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowering women in the education sector through innovative coaching and mentoring initiatives.

About the company:

DfE is a ministerial department, supported by 18 agencies and public bodies.

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98% positive feedback rating for all 50 training events

240% increase in coaching and mentoring relationships across the education secto

“Due to high-quality coaching, I secured my first assistant headship position. Recommended to everyone.”

“Thank you so much for the session on Tues. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about the benefits of coaching. The informal opportunities to share experiences, hopes and concerns were really good, especially in the flash mob coaching activity.”

“I found the event inspiring & extremely useful, thank you so much.”

“Many thanks for your input. It was useful and just what we needed.”

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What we’re talking about

Johanna launched In Diverse Company in 2019 out of a strong belief that there was a better way to create and measure inclusive cultures.

We live by our values, and our approach to our own recruitment policy, team and purpose reflects this. We are a tech company driven by a senior team that are experts in people, with one of the only female CEOs of a HR tech platform across the world.

Our Learning Platform, Include™ is the only LXP that combines Learning and Engagement. Include aims to create more inclusive working cultures and is underpinned by social and behavioural psychology principles.