My Love Story with the LMF Network

4 min readNov 29, 2021


This month we are changing gear. I have been asked to write about my experience volunteering for the LMF Network. Such an easy task, one would say. Or is it, with so much to say?!

It has been non-stop since joining this incredibly purposeful and powerful community. With so much to do to make this world greater and fairer, you can only imagine how hard it is to switch off. I have to say I never do.

So here is how it all started…

Just like yesterday.

I remember my first interaction with Sonya Barlow, the iconic founder of the LMF Network. Her passion for doing good and quest to put mental health at the forefront of everything she does really strike a chord.

From the offset, she was honest, easy to talk to and passionate about her project. It just felt right because not only could I bring something to the table, but I could also enjoy the ride.

At the time, nothing was entirely set in stone. Sonya encouraged volunteers to make the role their own. With the LMF Network, not only could I expand my activism at Unilever and Lean In, but I also could join a fun network in the making.

The power of mentoring.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on unsplash

Fast track a few months later, I was a proud member of the LMF Network, enrolling their mentorship pilot as a mentor.

Again, the focus on inclusivity, equity and diversity was the most exciting thing. Indeed, women from all over the world of all backgrounds and ages joined in! Last but not least, the empowerment mentees and mentors benefited from was one of the critical success factors of this program.

However, what surprised me most was how well mentees and mentors got matched! Each individual got paired based on specific criteria and carefully curated questions, ensuring complementarity and great synergies.

And then came blogging.

Photo by neonbrand on unsplash.

A year later, I decided to become an LMF Network blogger, hoping to share valuable and genuine life lessons, empower others and create a sense of community.

Prior to this new adventure, I had been writing for a few Lean In networks’ social media, including Lean In London’s. However, finding the creativity to write daily for Lean In and monthly 600 word blogs on the LMF Network felt like a stretch. Boy, was I wrong!

So, when the blogging ad came up, I saw it as the universe sending me a sign. Yep, I am a firm believer that ‘if you don’t try, you don’t know’.

Nine months in, I have been loving every moment of it. Month after month, I get to reflect on my skills, celebrate joyful memories and create new colourful stories through my blogs with you all…

My kind of people.

As far as I can remember, I have always advocated for what’s right and fair. I volunteer at work and outside of work and never say ‘no’ when someone asks for help.

If you have been an activist like me your whole life, you might have felt alone or even exhausted at times.

Therefore, when I finally found this tightly knitted community that constantly celebrates its members, I held on tight.

So, if you feel deflated, uninspired or need a bit of company, the LMF network is what you need. From Slack to Club House, we are everywhere, so you will never feel alone again!

If you are considering volunteering, the LMF Network might be what you’ve been waiting for. From content creation to speaking gigs, you can do and have fun with it all. So, what are you waiting for? You know you want to!

This blog contribution was made by Gaelle Couberes.

Gaelle is originally from France though a Londoner at heart, who believes in the power of sisterhood, championing diversity, inclusion and mental health. Gaelle works in the beauty industry as a Senior Innovation Manager, taking pride in being a content creator and a mentor.

In 2020, Gaelle became a mentor for the LMF mentoring programme and, in 2021, is crafting content for the blog.

Stay tuned for her regular blogs in English and French.

How can you keep in touch?

Email — |LinkedIn |Instagram | Slack

What is LMF Network?

The LMF Network is a global social enterprise (not for profit) focused on empowering, enabling & educating women and marginalised groups into tech, entrepreneurship & digital. We specialise in designing and delivering accessible programmes and supporting a global community. We’ve gone from a brunch club to a social good brand based on what the community wanted. We are a real community run by real people.




LMF Network - building the careers & confidence of 25,000 people by 2025 through mentoring, masterclasses & meaningful conversations.