Meet the twins supporting our businesses through a pandemic

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Twins and business leaders, Karen Powell and Lesley Heath, founded A Matter of Choice in 2011 in a bid to empower and equip females in a tough corporate environment.  

The business consultancy offers a varied portfolio of programmes, delivered to high-profile clients across Merseyside and the rest of the UK and includes subject matters such as mental health and wellbeing, safety culture and behaviour, coaching and mentoring, leadership, management and talent development to name a few.  

With challenging and uncertain times ahead for small businesses, many young women and indeed men are struggling to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with concerns mounting around remote working and self-distancing.

Karen and Lesley are combining their decades of industry experience to launch ‘The Knowledge Exchange’, a private Facebook group designed to connect businesses of all sizes, from all sectors, giving them a platform to share and receive valuable advice throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Karen said: “We set up this platform to enable members of our nationwide network to interact and exchange valuable advice on all matter of subjects including practical elements such as operations, logistics, HR and finance, through to motivation, leadership and change management. It’s likely that the changes we’re making today will impact how we work in the future so we need to remain innovative and remember that processes and attitudes to management that have applied previously may no longer be relevant. The aim of this group is to help managers and business owners to lead with confidence and guide their teams with valuable support from others.” 

Karen started her career journey in a supermarket store management position as part of a graduate scheme. Developing into more HR focused roles, her job saw her working across the UK in Leeds, Sunderland, Newcastle and Glasgow.

As well as working on the ground, Karen has extensive head office experience, working her way up to Head of HR and holding a seat on the board of directors for a well-known supermarket chain and has worked as Head of Learning and Development, which has heavily influenced her current specialisms. 

Lesley added: “The Knowledge Exchange is built entirely on the ethos of community and the only profit to be gained is in the form of new ideas, advice and solutions that will enable businesses to continue, albeit a little differently, and come out stronger on the other side.  

“As well as being a place where people can give and receive practical knowledge, it’s also a platform that we hope will offer some insight into more personal and behaviour-led challenges.

With many now working in isolation, colleagues can feel a lack of connection to their co-workers and, outside of a workplace context, this is an incredibly emotional time for individuals who are experiencing feelings of self-doubt, anxiety and fatigue, all of which can be detrimental for mental wellbeing. A key part of this group is to enable others to get the most out of their working hours and switch off at the end of the day.” 

Lesley spent 34 years working within the railway industry where she started her career in Scotland as the first English female working in operations, and later rose through the ranks to secure the role of Safety and Environment Director and has held this title at a number of companies across the UK.

Lesley specialises in subject areas including mindset, transformation and behavioural change – topics that many companies and employees are looking at more closely within the current climate. 

Request to become a member of The Knowledge Exchange here.  For more information email or visit

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