What We Do

The Juggling Act: coaching, consulting and leadership programmes for working parents, and the organisations they work for.

We work with organisations on how they can better support their working parent employees through, coaching, workshops, cultural assessments and transformation. As part of this offer, we also run The Juggling Act leadership programme: an innovative coaching programme that enables parents to build the career they truly want amidst the circus of raising a family.

Our Learning & Development programme is a 4-part combination of coaching sessions and a full-day workshop, designed to empower parents re-entering the workplace, enhancing their focus and self-assurance as well as offering real-life practical exercises in negotiation and communication skills. We’ve pulled together our extensive professional and personal experience to create a programme full of practical content and exercises.

Our programme offers working parents the opportunity to:

  • Explore feelings and thoughts about returning to work.
  • Highlight key areas of challenge and identify new solutions.
  • Practice having difficult conversations under challenging but supportive conditions.
  • Identify unconscious blocks and beliefs and discuss more useful behaviours, responses and attitudes.

During the course we’ll explore the following topics:

  • Personal values, purpose & vision.
  • Confidence, support & boundaries.
  • Relationship with money: work patterns, promotions and pay.
  • Expert communication skills: speak to be heard, listen to understand.
  • Mental & physical health: understanding and managing stress.

Our mission is to make the world of work more successful and fulfilling for everyone: employers and employees, women and men, for generations to come. 

TESTIMONIALS

“This workshop helped me realise that I frequently fail to ask for things that would work best for me because I think the answer will be no. It gave me more confidence to think about how I want my work/life balance to work, and how to start having conversations to support that (I’ve actually since asked to go back 80% initially and got agreement)!”
Jenna, Lawyer

“The mini-session on how to approach tricky conversations and negotiations was my favourite part and was confidence-building at a time when I felt particularly insecure. I felt so empowered afterwards that I arranged a phone call with a freelance work contact the next morning. I’d been feeling anxious having had nine months in a maternity leave bubble but even simply talking through some of these fears made them disappear.” 
Chrissy, Marketing Strategy  Director

“This was by far the best leadership and communication workshop I’ve attended. Other events of this kind can be uninspiring, PowerPoint-heavy and jargonistic; this stands out as personal and thought-provoking. Its positive impact will be felt in the workplace and beyond.” 
Sophie, NHS Doctor

Panel 1

Why We Do It

Our Mission

Our mission is to make the world of work more successful and fulfilling for everyone: employers and employees, women and men, for generations to come. 

The Origins of The Juggling Act

In 2017, shortly before their sons were born, both Claire and Lucy attended pre-natal classes with Bump & Baby Club in London. Here they developed friendships with other working parents. As everybody’s babies grew, the conversations turned from feeding and sleep strategies towards going back to work. Many of the parents shared the same conundrums. Did they want to work flexibly or go back full time? Could they transition slowly? Would they be discriminated against or be pushed out for being parents, perhaps not able to offer the same unilateral focus to their work as they had previously? And what about the exhaustion, the logistics and the guilt?

Not a single person felt entirely confident about this next step. Many felt unsupported by their employers. Fast forward about eighteen months and a lot of caffeinated conversations and The Juggling Act was born.

We’re intent on reducing stigma and discrimination against working parents, as well as offering them practical, purposeful support with regards their work, wealth and wellbeing.

Juggling Act Research

So, we knew work re-entry was proving challenging for us, our friends and our family, but we wanted to know more… What were the key issues, what was the detail of what goes on and what could we do to support employers and employees to live better, more successful and more fulfilling working lives?

What could we do to support employers and employees to live better, more successful and more fulfilling working lives?

What were new parents really facing when heading back to work? What were their greatest challenges? To gain further insight and ensure The Juggling Act Programme was targeting the real issues for returning to work we ran a survey. We had 112 responses. Peoples’ challenges varied to some degree, but the key themes included:

  • Feelings of guilt: about leaving kids, about working too much, about not working enough. There was guilt about enjoying work and guilt about not enjoying it.
  • Knocked confidence, low confidence, no confidence.
  • Endless context-switching: from sometimes joyful, sometimes mind-numbing parenting to running meetings, writing papers, making presentations.
  • Fatigue! The tiredness, so much tiredness.
  • Many cases of women juggling everything at home and pursuing a career with not enough support from their partner.
  • Bungled returns to work, with little to no prep or consideration from employers
  • Not enough time to think or consider what they would need for themselves to make a success of their return
  • Struggles with boundaries, especially saying no.

We developed our consulting services, training and leadership programme to respond to these issues.

Panel 2

Who We Are

Our Facilitators & Coaches

Claire Fry
Founder of the Juggling Act, Executive Coach, Culture Consultant & Facilitator

With a background in Programme Management, Change & Transformation within the Financial Services Sector, Claire began ‘real work’ at the age of 18, joining the International Investment department at what is now BNP Paribas Real Estate in Paris, before attending Edinburgh University.

Always fascinated by the world of work, Claire shifted her focus from risk & compliance to culture & coaching in 2013, while working for Old Mutual in London. She wanted to understand what makes businesses tick, how human behaviour sets the stage for success (or disaster) in the workplace, and what truly inspires people to be at their best –  whether part of a large organisation or as entrepreneurs. In 2015, after 13 years working for large global organisations, she was ready to ‘go it alone’ and started her own coaching and leadership company, Pale Blue Coaching.

Claire’s ongoing research and focus areas include: responsible leadership (especially gender diversity & inclusion, gender pay gap), parents returning to work/shared parental leave, culture under pressure (M&A, organisational change), generational dynamics, and sustainability/stewardship for future generations.

She lives in South London where she runs her own ‘juggling act’, with huge support from her husband, in-house IT & emotional support, branding guru and all-round juggling partner, Rod and their young son.

Chris White
Partner at The Juggling Act, Effective Communications Coach, & Facilitator

After a long career as a hostage negotiator and having travelled all over the world, Chris has seen the best and worst of human behaviour. He believes passionately that the art of listening can improve leadership, decision making and ultimately make us more effective people, both in the workplace and in our lives. He thoroughly enjoys sharing the experience he has gained to help others reach their potential.

Chris has worked with, and trained: governments, private organisations and NGO’s, including NATO, the U.N. and other international agencies, in effective communication and negotiation.

He built his corporate experience as Head of Global Operational Security & Intelligence for FTSE 100 companies in the UK and overseas, as well as running internal leadership workshops on: deep listening, influencing and applying the crucial communication lessons of crisis negotiation in the workplace.

Lucy Fry
Wellbeing Coach, & Facilitator

Lucy is a freelance Coach, Author and Journalist. In the last decade Lucy has published hundreds of articles about physical fitness and mental health across various print and online media; been a columnist at Sunday Telegraph and Easy Jet Traveller Magazine and; travel editor for Diva Magazine. She has also written widely about more personal topics such as addiction, same-sex parenting and becoming a non-biological mother.

Lucy is currently studying Integrative Transpersonal Counselling & Psychotherapy and has a Foundation Certificate in the Psychotherapeutic Arts. She enjoys incorporating elements of art therapy and transpersonal thinking into her coaching at Black Flamingo.

She lives in South London with her wife and son and loves yoga, lifting heavy weights and working on her handstand!

Panel 4

For Employers

We are living in extraordinary times with stunning changes in social organisation. More new mothers are returning to the workforce than ever before. The number of working mothers in the UK has risen by a million in 20 years. Almost three-quarters of women with children are in full- or part-time work.  Unsurprisingly, there is huge talent and therefore opportunity, sitting within this ever-growing pool of working mothers.

In coaching women before, during and after mat leave, we keep hearing the same story: woman is excelling in her career, woman leaves to have baby, woman comes back needing some time to transition, woman feels blocked and unsupported, woman leaves for new organisation with better #flexappeal, gender equality, lower (or no) gender pay gap and a more open-minded and exciting company culture.  

We know how much time and money organisations already invest in their top people, so it’s no surprise that employers are increasingly looking at new ways to avoid losing some of their best employees over a short-term slow-down when they have children.

Encouragingly, some of the more innovative companies are beginning to think long-term about how best to support and encourage women’s efforts, so the businesses themselves can build the successful, diverse, inspired workforces they will need for the future.


We take the view that every single one of our lawyers has been the recipient of a massive amount of investment, whether that is paying their course fees or training over the years. It is just ludicrous not to support them when they come back. We would only have to then go out to a headhunter and pay a fee to replace them, it is these mothers we are really looking for to progress and become the partners of the future  

Colin Passmore, Managing Partner, Simmons & Simmons
From project 28-40 report, Opportunity Now

As part of our research for the Juggling Act, we ran a survey asking working mothers some of the all-important questions about their experiences of pregnancy, maternity leave and returning to work. From over one hundred respondents certain themes came up time and again; women want support from employers in balancing work-home responsibilities; they are keen to work hard, and are often highly ambitious, but want to be measured for outputs of fully-scoped roles rather than bum-in-seat hours.

Our intensive coaching programme supports women in improving their own prospects, creating opportunities and strategically planning their careers. Those who go through the coaching and group work programme will come out:

  • In the right head space, with a plan of how to transition – and then excel – back in their organisation
  • Having had time to think and re-orientate themselves around the world of work
  • With a new perspective on the potential collaboration between them and their employer to make a true success of going back

The Juggling Act leadership programme is about making the world of work more successful and fulfilling for everyone, employers and employees, women and men, for generations to come.