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Johnian magazine issue 52, spring 2024

Jane Cordell: in a nutshell

Written by Jane Cordell (1984)

2 min read

Jane Cordell (1984) is a public speaker and coach who specialises in helping those who feel excluded to reach their full potential. Having lost her hearing in her twenties, Jane’s career path shifted a number of times and she now uses her personal experience to benefit others. Jane is an advocate for disability equality and works with organisations to help advance equity, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

I have worked as a professional viola player, a teacher and lecturer, an editor, a diplomat, a coach, Director of a social enterprise, a public speaker and a board Chair. This is roughly in order with some overlaps.

Losing my hearing as a professional musician meant that music, easy communication with others and humour felt lost to me. Those three things were at the centre of my soul. I had to undertake a painful and isolating journey, forcing me to understand myself in depth.

Jane sits down and is signing to another woman who is standing up next to her. The other woman has her back to the camera.

Career discrimination pushed me to change careers several times but also to discover my personal
purpose. With support from brilliant mentors, colleagues and friends, I have come full circle. I now play
and perform regularly with my local orchestra, and at Result (the social enterprise I co-direct) with
professional communication support, I am co-leading a major personal and professional development programme for the Civil Service – DELTA (Disability Empowers Leadership Talent). We have more than 70 participants this year. I regularly have to pinch myself to believe this has all happened.

Jane, in a pink blazer, is presenting in front of a screen which reads 'Want to get involved? Volunteer with us'. In front of her audience members are sat down listening.

In my opinion, the biggest barriers to equality and access in the workplace are people’s assumptions and their fear of difference. These two things are a common but toxic and self-defeating combination.

You can work to remove these barriers. Just be open, curious and courageous; you could be positively
surprised. Regularly ask yourself ‘who else could do this?’ or ‘how else could we approach this?’

I now co-direct Result, a coaching and training social enterprise. We are ‘confidently different’. At
Result we aim to use our experience to encourage every individual to achieve their potential, feel fulfilled
and make a valuable contribution. The upward spiral we promote means these individuals can go on to become positive role models for others in the future.

Jane and lots of colleagues pose for a group photo. They are smiling. Jane wears a bright pink blazer.

Coaching is about listening with care. It supports people to understand themselves much more fully and to make the best decisions both for their careers and in their lives. Result provides coaches and facilitators with lived experience of being marginalised, and many of our clients are from minority groups. Some have never felt properly heard before. Our workshops and coaching sessions allow people to explore openly, often for the first time, the full range of their experience and skills. For many clients Result’s work has been transformational.

My advice to my 16-year-old self would be: it is going to be harder than you could ever imagine. But you will learn, adapt and feel immeasurable joy and satisfaction in doing things your way.

You can find out more about Jane’s work on her websites, and

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Jane is a deaf leader, public speaker and confidence coach. She is Director of Result, a social enterprise that provides coaching, training and development. Jane is an advocate for disability equality and works with organisations to help advance equity, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.