The Charity CEO Podcast


Bejal Shah and Verena Hefti MBE

Bejal Shah, CEO ReachOut and Verena Hefti MBE, CEO Leaders Plus: The Power of Mentoring!

“In a way what we are doing, is we’re engineering social and cultural capital for those who don’t have it… that’s what mentoring is”

Bejal Shah is the CEO of ReachOut, a mentoring charity working in under-resourced communities to support young people to grow in character and confidence to achieve positive long-term outcomes. After leaving university, Bejal was determined to make a positive contribution to society and joined Explore Learning in 2009, forging a career in front-line education work. Following this she joined ReachOut in 2017 to head up their programmes nationwide, becoming the CEO in 2021. Bejal is passionate about supporting young people to be the best versions of themselves, helping them develop the tools to make decisions that benefit themselves and those around them, and achieve their full potential.

Verena Hefti MBE is the CEO and Founder of the social enterprise Leaders Plus. She set up Leaders Plus in order to support leaders with babies and young children to continue to progress their careers. Verena believes that no one should have to choose between becoming a CEO and enjoying their young children. She stands for supporting parents to fulfil ambitious career dreams which she believes is essential to achieving gender equality at the top. Verena is also the host of the Big Careers, Small Children podcast. Previous to Leaders Plus, Verena ran leadership development programmes and events for 10 years in Switzerland, Denmark, and the UK, working with various organisations, including Teach First. Verena is from Switzerland and has MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. She was awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award and an MBE for services to working parents in 2022. 

Ep 37. Bejal Shah and Verena Hefti,

CEOs of ReachOut and Leaders Plus:

The Power of Mentoring!

In this episode we explore a new format for the show.

Two charity CEOs having a panel discussion on the topic of mentoring: Bejal Shah, CEO of ReachOut and Verena Hefti, Founder and CEO of Leaders Plus.

ReachOut is a mentoring and education charity, rooted in local communities. Working in under-resourced areas across the UK, ReachOut’s programmes support young people to grow in character and confidence, sparking change in themselves and society.

Leaders Plus is a social enterprise working with individuals during maternity leave, shared parental leave and beyond, to progress in their careers whilst enjoying their young families. The Leaders Plus flagship Fellowship programme support parents to progress in big careers whilst juggling small children.

We talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of mentoring, how it applies to different age-groups and how each organisation measures that all important evidence of impact.

And above all, how the experience of mentoring can have a transformational impact on an individual’s life and career trajectory.

Recorded September 2022.

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