about helen > sabbaticals
- sabbatical from the BBC
In 1994, Helen took her first sabbatical
from her career as a BBC news and current affairs TV producer to help build capacity
at the think tank Demos. Her motives were varied and ranged from the personal
to the political. In terms of personal development, she wanted to take stock of
her career in TV and broadcasting and to explore her other interests in politics.
At the time, the BBC did not have a formal sabbaticals policy, but she was graced
with a far sighted and forward thinking boss who agreed to the sabbatical. She
extended it for a few years until she realised that the sabbatical had proved
to be the platform for a shift in career orientation and that although she foresaw
that broadcasting would always remain a part of her work portfolio, she was more
interested in pursuing a career as an ideas entrepreneur, and moving between the
worlds of journalism, broadcasting, policy and communications.
provides speeches and workshops on how to plan for, organise and even finance
your own sabbatical - as she is now an experienced sabbatical taker. She is currently
on her third! She has also researched and explored these issues from a policy
and organisational perspective, and so her speeches - and associated workshops
and consultancy can address diverse perspectives - from the personal to the organisational.
If you would like to ask Helen to speak or run a workshop about these themes,
or do some consultancy on this, please contact her. She also coaches individuals
interested in exploring whether to take a sabbatical.
- sabbatical from the think tank Demos
Harkness Fellowship (August 1997-August
1998) and then a self-financed six month sabbatical from September 1998-March
1999) from the think tank Demos
In Summer 1997, Helen embarked on her
second major sabbatical. She successfully applied for a Harkness Fellowship in
the late Autumn 1996, a fellowship which encourages cross cultural exchange and
enables opinion formers and leaders to live , study and work in the USA. She left
for the States on a financed 12 month sabbatical from Demos in August 1997, with
an innovative, and pioneering research project, which focussed on innovative policies
and practice for promoting responsible fatherhood, with a particular focus on
exploring the health impact on non-resident fathers and their children from this
separation. Helen was based in New York and was an associate of the Families and
Work Institute, an American think tank which she had already had contact with.
She travelled widely during her time there, and visited a number of states to
explore the innovative approaches they were taking to this issue. In August 1998,
Helen extended her sabbatical from Demos, and moved from New York to San Francisco
for a self financed six month sabbatical designed to allow her time for personal
development and to explore a writing projects.
- sabbatical from Genderquake Limited
After a challenging and successful
year of providing interim management services to 4Children, (formerly Kids Clubs
Network) Helen decided to take stock of this work, and Genderquake's development
more generally, and explore some personal pet projects in her fortieth year. These
pet projects include: taking time out to explore creative writing projects, getting
fit, and developing ideas around creativity to build into Genderquake's offer
in years to come.
This sabbatical has been self-financed through savings
and income earned from the previous year and will finish in April 2005 when Helen
will return to Genderquake Limited with renewed vigour energised from the ideas,
experiences and new routes she has been developing in her time out.
sabbatical has also been enabled because Laura Wilkinson, Helen's sister, joined
Genderquake Limited in Spring 2004 as a Director. Laura has been acting as managing
director during this period, as well as overseeing the development of Genderquake's
new corporate site, associated websites (this one and
www.hagsharlotsheroines.com) and developing our creative services offer.
On her return, Helen will begin to develop the strategy consultancy side
of Genderquake's offer to complement our creative services.