Gender disparity in the workplace has been a serious topic of discussion for years. Women have been forced to fit into narrow boxes and judged for a long time—many have even felt the pressure to almost be alpha-female to be taken seriously. However, the stereotypical norms have started to change in recent years. Industries have started to realize the potential of leadership roles in recent years.
Melody Hossaini is a prime example of an influential woman leader making a mark in the competitive business landscape. Melody is an award-winning people development trainer, a mindset coach, and a keynote speaker. With over 20 years of experience, Melody has written for Forbes, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, worked with individuals, educational institutions, and clients such as The New York Times, Facebook, and J.P. Morgan. She is also the Founder and CEO of InspirEngage International and has been instrumental in the company’s growth as one of the world’s leading organizations in skills training and people development.
Being at the helm of InspirEngage, Melody’s primary role is to design programmes and coaching that help people to be their best, be happy and thriving.. She has spoken in over 60 countries to over 1 million people and shared a stage with people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Vice-President AI Gore, and other thought leaders. She believes that this has allowed her to be a part of change and shape services based on accrual needs of people.
Mirror Review’s team recently had the opportunity to interview Melody, in which she shed light upon her professional journey and exclusivities offered by the company, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on leadership and her business. Here are some snippets from the compelling conversation.
Please brief us about your entrepreneurial journey. What was the moment that triggered you to establish InspirEngage?
InspirEngage was incepted over 10 years ago; however, I have been working in the people development space for over 20 years. The motivation behind establishing InspirEngage pertains to my personal background. I was born during the war in Iran and fled as war refugee. I grew up in Sweden before moving to England after a horrific incident of being held at gunpoint in our own home.
In England, I was bullied and had an awful time in school. However, at the age of 13, I decided to divert my attention to better things and became a co-founder of the UK Youth Parliament, changing the lives of young people. I always thought—there needs to be a better way of doing things. In 2009, I founded InspirEngage International. We designed the Skills Bootcamps and the Human Investor programs, followed by our 1-2-1 coaching programs on Mindset and Skills to support people and teams to be happy, productive, and achieve their goals.
What are the exclusive services/solutions offered by the company that differentiates it from the competitors?
There are several fantastic organizations like us that are doing great work in the space of people development. What makes us different is the quality of the work we do with each individual we coach or train. Our prominent services are “Human Investor” training programs for corporates and SMEs, built on their objectives and needs. We train teams that allow each individual to reconnect to their personal purpose and back to the company mission, as well as strengthening mindset and wellbeing.
Alongside this, our other main strand of work is a 1-2-1 coaching program such as the “Invest In Yourself” program for adults. Recently during the lockdown, we have launched “Coaching for Kids”—aimed at 4-16 years old. The pandemic affected children’s wellbeing, independence, and resilience. These 30-minute coaching sessions via Zoom help children develop a growth mindset, confidence, and resilient attitude to life and its challenges in a healthy way.
How has the pandemic affected the work you do?
As a professional speaker and trainer with a portfolio in over 100 countries, not having gatherings anymore and not being able to travel was a big hit. However, the pandemic brought new ways of delivering our programs. If pre-pandemic you had asked a 5-year old to sit at the computer to work on their resilience and growth mindset, their parents would have laughed. But since the pandemic and children becoming used to home learning, this is now a possibility.
We have been delivering our ‘Coaching for Kids’ program for 4-16 year-olds with incredible impact. I had a 4-year-old join the program today. Her parents were nervous initially, however, the mother texted me after the session saying “we are blown away with how well this went after merely one session.” It is much needed and we can say that the basis for happiness, academic achievement, and well-being is a healthy mindset.
What are your views on gender disparity in your industry? What are the further developments you would like to see in the upcoming years?
With a wider breadth of businesses and women at top, we are witnessing women from every background and style being authentically themselves and thriving. We have some way to go but it’s a start—because being authentically who we are is an important part of feeling connected to what we do.
I am honored to have trained so many people in our coaching and team programs to develop their personal brand and mindset to thrive. In the near future, I would like to see further developments in opportunities provided to mothers. A dedicated new mother should be able to progress with the same opportunity as her contemporaries.
What advice would you like to share with our women readers?
Keep going! Keep taking up pace! So many times, the world has tried to put me in its narrow box of what a woman should be like—whether in business, in the workplace, whether in comparison to societal ‘norms’ but in the end, you maintain strength, you remain YOU!
To see more information or to contact Melody, see www.MelodyHossaini.com
Also Read: The Top 10 Leadership Coaches of 2023