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Dr Sally Bonneywell & Eva Kovacs

Closing the gender gap at all leadership levels – how coaching can really work

Theme: Context
Area: Coaching
Type: Research (jointly with a client or mentor/coaching who will describe how it has been applied in practice)

Session on Thursday, Jun 15th, 10:25
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In this session you will hear about the innovative use of coaching in developing female leaders in a global organisation. You will gain insights from a rigorous evidence based research doctorate, coupled with the pragmatic input from the leader of the Coaching project on how to accelerate the learning and development of female executives in GSK – the global healthcare company. You will learn how the combination of individual and group coaching has been used at an organisational level to accelerate change and development in an innovative and thought provoking way. The theoretical underpinnings, as well as the business rationale will be explored as well as the findings and implications for practitioners, researchers and sponsors of coaching in organisations. The business case will be discussed, along with how to gain buy in from senior leaders – what worked, what didn’t and our learnings. From a research perspective, how the issue of insider researcher was handled – and the benefits it has brought to the organisation will be shared. The research outcomes and a framework for implementation of such an initiative will be revealed and questions answered.


Dr Sally Bonneywell is VP of Coaching at GlaxoSmithKline based at the Headquarters in Brentford, London. Sally founded the Coaching Centre of Excellence in 2010 and has been accountable for setting the strategy for coaching globally as well as coaching individual executives herself. GSK now has a team of Internal Executive Coaches, Professional level coaches and over six hundred and fifty Job Plus Coaches. In 2016 she was awarded her Doctorate in Coaching, she also has an MBA and a degree in Psychology and Anthropology. She has the NTL Organisation Development Certificate and is accredited to Professional Certified Coach level with the ICF.

Eva Kovacs is the UK Internal Executive Coach at GlaxoSmithKline based at the Headquarters in Brentford, London. Eva started her GSK career in Hungary where she was HR Director responsible for supporting the Pharma operation in Hungary. She moved to the UK and joined the Coaching Centre of Excellence in 2012 as a Coaching Director and is now the UK Internal Executive Coach and certified to PCC level with the ICF. In 2016 GSK Coaching has recently received the International Coach Federation (ICF) International Prism Award for Global Excellence, and Sally was recognised as Internal Coaching Person of the Year by the publication Coaching at Work.