About Changing People

By www.Celiamanningsphotography.com

Changing People was established in 2003, by Jane C Woods an internationally recognised authority for women’s development in business.  Our clients include: Oxford University, Cambridge University (no bias), Sainsbury’s Bank, Wiltshire Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Branch, Bouygues UK, and Dick Lovett Motors.

Changing People has a network of licensed trainers across the globe delivering the one day personal development course for women, RenewYou. We specialise in helping businesses manage change with confidence while developing more women through the management pipeline and into senior posts, and ultimately the board. We are particularly focused on picking women up at the early stages of the management pipeline, thus encouraging them to benefit from training and development opportunities offered within in the organisation.

Our services include: licensed courses, bespoke training packages, personal development training, one to one coaching, group coaching and consultancy.

“Jane has worked with members of our team and has produced some excellent results. I could not recommend Jane more highly, her calm approach with extensive knowledge in a number of different areas relating to both the work environment and to personal interaction, has helped develop unity and team awareness. Her motivation, enthusiasm and immediate empathy towards our challenges was ideally placed for the training she did with our staff. Jane’s subtle but modern approach would benefit any individual or group wishing to develop and maximise their potential.”

Jo Francis-Pope
Manager at Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd


This was Jo’s PS Please feel free to edit as you wish – I think you are great, you have evidently produced some excellent results for us and I believe and the changes are here for the long term for which I thank you.

More about Jane:

I’m Jane C Woods and I started Changing People over 13 years ago. I absolutely love what I do for a living. Put simply, we help women develop to their full potential. Everyone benefits when the talents of both men and women are recognised and used.

I’m also the creator of RenewYou, the one day programme which transforms women’s lives and helps business create a talent pool of motivated women. RenewYou has been licensed to experienced trainers across the world.  Speak Up is our course for professional women who want to further their careers. We now have an on line version too! More on that here.

Helping Women Develop Their Full Potential

I  blog here about once a week on my passion – women thriving in the world of work. I am a huge advocate of gender equality in the workplace (and the world at large.) My first blog post went live in August 2008. It was an interview with Jo Bertinet who runs a successful business with her more well known husband, Richard. I still feature interviews with women I think will inspire you, like this one with Dame Jenni Murray  of BBC’s Woman’s Hour.

Sign up to get the blog posts and you’ll see a post in your in-box about once, or very occasionally twice, a week. My goal is to give you interesting, informative, useful, and above all inspiring bite size nuggets.  Sign up for them here.

Career Change

I changed careers in my late forties. I began my working life as a social worker in Bermondsey, London, (which wasn’t posh and gentrified like it is now) and over time moved into management. I ended up in the West Country, a far cry from the very working class Medway Towns where I grew up.

I just knew I had to do something different; it never occurred to me that I might be too old to make such a change. I had great support and encouragement from my friends and family. Work colleagues thought I was mad. ‘What about your pension?’ was the frequent refrain. Well, I finally got to the point when the lure of a pension was far less appealing than living a life true to myself. I chose to follow my dream.

I was 48 (and three quarters) and both scared and hugely excited. I can honestly tell you I have never looked back. I’ve had a wobble or two, but for me, running my own business has been amazing.

Some of the Interviews with Inspiring Women

I’ve been enormously privileged to have worked with amazing women. Here are just a few of my interviews with some of those inspiring women.

Kathy Lette, author and comedian

” I only write because it’s cheaper than therapy. My first book , Puberty Blues, was about growing up as a surfie chick. The boys I grew up with, disproved the theory of evolution – they were evolving into apes. We girls were little more than a life support system to a pair of breasts. As I developed some objectivity, I realised that there was more to life than just being a human handbags, draped attractively over the arms of a surfie boyfriend..”

Caroline Lucas, MP for the Green Party UK

“it’s a scandal that, despite so much campaigning over so many years, the gender pay gap still exists. It’s totally outrageous that, in this day and age, women who are doing the same jobs as men can still expect to earn significantly less. It sends out a terrible message about how we treat and value women – it needs to be addressed, now.”

Sarah Montague, journalist on BBC’s flagship Today Programme

“I don’t really have any personal heroes, although I did interview Robert Redford recently. I rang my Mum up to tell her that was coming! He was lovely but we had only 8 minutes and he’d been doing loads of interviews. He was very professional, listened well and answered my questions. But I’d really love to do a ‘hard talk’ with him, say 25 minutes as he is a very interesting character.”

Mary Beard, historian, writer and TV commentator

“It would have been absolutely ghastly to be a woman in the ancient world (however rich you were, death in childbirth was an ever present danger). And even those female goddesses were not always as clear an indication of female power as we like to think. Athena may has been a goddess in a way, but she was an extraordinary masculinising hybrid – who, by being born from the head of her father, in a sense wrote off female power.”

Popular Posts on Confidence

Falling Down – The New Getting Ahead

One Thing You Simply Must Stop Doing and It’s This!

You can sign up to receive regular blog posts here. This particular article (below) about RenewYou and business went ballistic on LinkedIn so I share it with you here.

RenewYou Means Business.

Social Media

I love the way social media has opened up the world. I’ve met some fabulous people through social media, especially Twitter. Do connect with me on Twitter . And let’s connect on LinkedIn too! To connect via Facebook click this link here. I love to hear from you!

My Favourite Quote

Many moons ago I was working as a social worker with bereaved families and families with seriously ill relatives or children. You begin to have lots of ‘what’s it all about‘ moments when you do that kind of work. I came across this quote I want to share with you because it literally changed my life. It stopped me ever feeling myself a victim of circumstance. I hope it works for you, too.

My guiding principle is taken from the works of a Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. He said:

“We are not touched so much by life events themselves, but by the view we choose to take of them”

We can’t always control what happens to us, life can be ‘random’. However, we can make a choice about how we react to what happens to us.

My Biography

I wanted to change the world. I wanted to make it fairer and better. Actually, I still want to change the world and now I’m relying on the collective power of women to help me. My first love, work wise, was social work. (My first love non work wise, was Elvis Presley but that’s another story).

After leaving University with a degree in Social History & Politics (and I confess I wasn’t at all academic. I couldn’t wait to actually get started on living) we moved to London. I was a trainee social worker with London Boroughs, based in Bermondsey.

I’d grown up in a very working class neighbourhood in North Kent. My dad, a Scot, was a scaffolder and my Mum worked as a dinner lady. I had ended up at a selective school (I passed something called the 11 plus) which opened up my horizons and made university a reality. In school I did reasonably well and I discovered a love for singing and acting…which is probably why I love talking to groups today.

I thought my background would give me a real edge when I began social work. I was wrong. Social work is both beset with bureaucracy and full of really good well intentioned people. It’s hard to make real lasting change with few resources. I was swiftly disabused of my aim to change the world via social work.

A few years after starting as a social worker we moved to Bath in the West Country of the UK. I had our first child and when she was 9 months old I went to Bath University to do a 2 year post graduate course in social work.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in all areas of social work. This has been invaluable in my second career. I’ve worked in main stream hospitals, child abuse teams, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and management. My last ‘proper job’ was as the lead for integrating health & social services and for a while I was ‘Queen of the Bed Blockers’. Also known as delayed transfers of care, i.e. people who didn’t need acute hospital care but who hadn’t gone home. It was a very political role. It did equip me very well for what I do now, working with businesses who want to introduce more women into their management pipeline. I understand why people resist change and prefer to stick with what they know, even if they don’t much like what they know. Companies can have all the change programmes in the world but if they under estimate the emotional impact change has, they’ll be working doubly hard for half the result.

I ran various groups in all my jobs, and had some excellent training in group work dynamics through my work with offenders in the Probation Service. I took management qualifications and progressed.  In all honesty, more by responding to opportunities, i.e. being asked, than by any clear career plan. That is not a recommendation, by the way, I think planning is crucial if we are to avoid some of the common pitfalls career women face. It wasn’t until I got to my 40s, when my children were pretty self sufficient, that I really began to think What do I actually want from life? I figured it out and went for it, as you have seen.

If you’d like to get in touch, (and I’d love to hear from you)  email me using this link.  You can sign up for the regular blog posts here.

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