The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership is a new online coaching experience for racialized women in (or, aspiring to) leadership at any level.

A unique opportunity tailored to women of colour in leadership

Leadership journeys are different for women of colour.

We face unique barriers.

Despite our excellence, there are not nearly enough of us in formal leadership positions.

When one of us does succeed in ‘climbing the ladder’ she often then needs to contend with the realities of being the ‘only one in the room.’

Women of colour hold only 9.4% of
women-held leadership roles. For Black and Indigenous women the percentage drops to less than 1%

The Prosperity Project’s “2023 Annual Report Card” with data from 98 public, private and Crown corporations
across Canada

We also bring unique gifts.

Whether our lives are shaped by racism and sexism alone, or, more likely, by these and other forms of discrimination, we come face-to-face with the need to find ‘power within’ from very early in our journeys.

It is a testament to our self-belief that even though we rarely get to see ourselves represented in formal leadership positions many of us continue to listen to our internal calls to leadership in its many forms. Whether that means securing our seat at the table, or building our own tables.

We are unique, but, there are few unique leadership development offerings tailored to our needs.

We struggle to find mentors who look like us and sponsors who champion us.

When we do get access to leadership advice, it often fails to consider our lived experience or offer strategies for our biggest barriers.

Few of us get the opportunity to gather with other women of colour to see and be seen as the leaders we are and aspire to become.

The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership fills the gap in tailored leadership development opportunities for racialized women.

The Circle offers you a space to gather with peers, tools to clarify who you are as a leader, and guidance to identify strategies unique to your lived experience as you take the next steps in your leadership journey.

This new group coaching experience is being offered for the first time in May 2023. Spots are limited.

By and for women of colour

Photo of Valery Navarrete a strategist, facilitator, and community builder who offers consulting, facilitating, coaching, and speaking services.

The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership is developed and facilitated by Valery Navarrete. Valery is a mixed-race Latinx woman of colour who has held leadership roles across the health and social sectors. She believes connection and community are key to helping us thrive.

Read Valery’s bio and learn about how she weaves anti-oppression into her work.

Listen to Valery talk about why she’s passionate about coaching women of colour with Passion Coach Shilbee Dhalla-Kim:

What to expect

The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership is being offered for the first time in May 2023.

Valery is offering a discounted price to all participants in the inaugeral cohort in exchange for the completion of feedback surveys at the start and end of the the coaching experience. This feedback will will help shape future offerings of The Circle.

For the discounted price of $225 participants get access to:

Three online group coaching sessions.

  • Three group coaching sessions where you’ll gain information and inspiration to help you clarify who you are as a leader and identify strategies unique to your lived experience as you take the next steps in your leadership journey.

A 1:1 online coaching session.

  • A 1:1 coaching session tailored to your unique needs, and booked at a time that works for you.

Digital copies of all program content.

  • Digital copies of all materials used in our group and 1:1 coaching sessions, as well as curated content provided to participants to review between sessions.

A small cohort of peer women of colour with whom to grow in community.

  • The Circle is designed as a group coaching experience because research and Valery’s own lived experience demonstrates that women of colour need more access to ‘networks’ and ‘community’ in order to thrive.

Limited spaces are on sale now until April 24, 2023!

Important dates

Group coaching sessions will take place online on the following dates:

  • Wednesday May 3, 2023
  • Wednesday May 17, 2023
  • Wednesday May 31, 2023

All group coaching sessions will be held between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm EST.

Participants will book their 1:1 online coaching sessions with Valery at a mutually convenient time.

Take the next step in your leadership journey as part of a cohort of women of colour ready to take on intersectional barriers and tap into your unique gifts, together.

Spots are limited.


Who is The Circle for?

The Circle is for women of colour in (or aspiring to) leadership at any level. You will be asked to share some brief background information on yourself when you sign up.

Future offerings of The Circle might focus on women of colour at specific leadership levels (e.g. new and emerging leaders, or senior executives); however, for this first offering all women of colour in leadership are invited to participate and to learn together across hierarchies.

Future offerings of The Circle might focus on women of colour working in specific sectors, or be designed with the needs of groups such as women of colour entrepreneurs in mind. However, for this inaugeral offering all women of colour are invited to participate and to learn together across sectors and situations.

Trans women of colour are women and are welcome to register. Valery’s Women of Colour in Leadership coaching practice draws from her lived experience, which does not include being a trans woman. The Circle is inclusive of, but not tailored to, the experiences of trans women of colour.

What if I want my employer to pay for my registration?

Valery strongly encourages you to seek your employer’s commitment to pay for your participation in The Circle. When you sign up you will be asked to identify to whom your invoice should be directed.

Several staff members from our organization are interested in signing up. Do you offer group discounts?

Please get in touch with Valery to discuss group discounts for three or more participants from one organization, or to discuss the development of a private coaching circle for the women of colour members your organization. You can connect with Valery using this contact form.

How much will future offerings of The Circle cost?

Valery is dedicated to landing on a pricing strategy for future offerings of The Circle that make participation accessible for women of colour at various income levels. While the price is expected to be higher in the future than for this inaugeral cohort, the exact cost has not yet been set and will be informed by feedback from participants in this first cohort.

Can I join a waitlist for future offerings of The Circle?

The best way to stay up-to-date on future offerings of the Circle is to join Valery’s email newsletter. Sign up by clicking here.

Will The Circle be right for me if I have decided I don’t want to move any further up the ladder right now? Or, if I am thinking about leaving my organization, or changing fields?

Valery has made a number of transitions over her almost 20 year career. This has included stepping in and out of formal leadership roles as she navigated the right life / work balance for her. She has found that better understanding her experiences as a racialized woman leader have helped her to make better decisions about what’s next in her career, including her decision to start her own business. While she cannot guarantee the same will be true for you, she invites you to get curious about whether that might be the case. If you think it might be then she looks forward to welcoming you into The Circle!

What has informed the design of The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership, and in what expertise do you ground your coaching practice?

Learn more about Valery’s own lived experience, informed by the experiences and critical analyses of other women of colour leaders, in this article she wrote about becoming an executive leader for the first time in 2010.

Valery first began mentoring and coaching other women when she held institutional leadership roles from 2012 to 2020. When she started her own business in 2021, she made Women of Colour in Leadership coaching one of her services as she knew women of colour did not have enough access to coaches and mentors with lived experience of being racialized.

Valery spent three years as a volunteer crisis counsellor with Distress Centres Toronto. What she learned about holding space and asking intentional questions in that time deeply informs her coaching practice.

Valery is also an affiliated Innoweave social innovation coach which has given her expertise in the differences between coaching, training, and consulting while she helps community organizations pursue greater social impact.

As a strategist and facilitator, Valery has extensive experience helping people and organizations dream into brighter futures grounded in new understandings of their present realities.

Valery is not a certified executive coach. She has nothing negative to say about certified coaches, having once paid to work with one herself. Very few certified executive coaches have lived expertise as women of colour in leadership.

Do you offer 1:1 coaching? I’m not sure a group coaching experience is right for me, or the dates and times being offered don’t work for me.

Yes, Valery offers 1:1 coaching. You can book a free consultation with her to discuss your needs by clicking here.

Do you have another question about The Circle: Women of Colour in Leadership? Please reach out to Valery using this contact form.