Inspirational leaders – Katie Lee – The role of businesses in supporting mental health and wellbeing


It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and as Grace Blue’s leadership series continues we had the privilege of welcoming Katie Lee.

After many years working for some of the best known and most loved agencies, Katie transitioned into her first client-side role joining Clementine  as Chief Executive Officer in 2021.

Clementine is a tech start-up hypnotherapy app which focuses on supporting mental health and wellbeing – their mission is “to reduce the stress and build the confidence of millions of women”.

Katie shared her wisdom, insights and practical advice across a number of areas, but particularly relevant for this week; the role of businesses in supporting mental health and wellbeing, and imposter syndrome and how to overcome it.

On the role businesses have to play in supporting mental health and wellbeing. Katie was clear that firms need to put this at the forefront of everything they do. She underlined that this isn’t about words but about actions, improving day-to-day behaviours, and offering genuine flexibility to employees. She acknowledged that this still has a long way to go in many businesses, and that there is a real need for many firms and leaders to redefine how success is measured, moving away a focus on ‘busyness’ to outcomes.

Katie also acknowledged that the pandemic has had a real impact on mental health in the workplace, particularly for women. Aside from obvious job losses, anxiety about return to work and cutting back on hours, she stated that there are a lot of women who are talking about the fear of “career freezing”. This can be due to a number of factors; feeling unable to show value remotely, struggling with online presentations or feeling that the overall virtual environment is better suited to dominant characters and extroverts.

Katie suggested that these will also be key challenges for businesses to focus on as we move towards ‘the new normal’ within which hybrid and virtual working will play a much larger role.

Imposter syndrome and how to overcome it. Finally, Katie tackled the issue of imposter syndrome and began by saying that it is actually quite commonplace for leaders to experience this.

She suggested that there are a number of ways to manage it. This included coaching and writing lists of positive achievements to remind yourself what you have done in the last week or month.

Katie also underlined the importance of staying connected through your network can really help remind people of the true impact of their work, the people they’ve met and things they’ve achieved.

We really enjoyed learning from Katie and can’t wait to observe the success of Clementine.