Interview with… Lesley Brady

How did you get to where you are now?

Having gained business knowledge at Tony Stone Images (TSI), when the company grew I began my post-grad certificate with the CIPD and moved out of sales to set up the HR department. When Getty Images acquired TSI my career developed along international lines (my BA is in Italian and French). I was promoted on several occasions and am now the head of HR in EMEA reporting directly to the senior vice-president of HR at HQ in Seattle.

What takes up most of your time at work?

My team is based in London, France, Germany and Spain, so much of my time is communicating information via the HR team in the Seattle HQ to ensure global policies, procedures, and activities are managed at the local level.

Which three attributes are needed to do your job?

n Flexibility: to win the close and friendly co-operation of colleagues and to adapt to any circumstancesn A sense of humour: to hold the team together in moments of crisis and/or uncertaintyn Communication: must be open and honest and at all levels, eg, up and down the organisation

What legislation causes you the most headaches?

The resolution of disputes, especially the many steps that must be adhered to rigidly, otherwise a sound business decision can be overturned as a result of a procedural flaw.

How do you keep up with new and changing legislation?

Internal legal department, external law firm, some seminars, eg, CIPD road-shows, and HR magazines.

What’s HR’s biggest legal challenge?

The ease with which employees can file an ET1, which must be answered even if the claim is unwarranted. This means having to do everything by the book when a business can ill afford to be tied by the risks involved in going down a particular route. Costs rack up, as well as management time.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety of every day tasks when dealing with people the challenges and the languages and travel

What’s the most challenging situation you’ve had to deal with?

Dealing with collective redundancies after I inherited the lead role when my direct manager left the company. At the same time. It was a difficult process, which led to a preliminary tribunal hearing. Eventually it was settled by mutual agreement, but I learned a lot of lessons.

What really annoys you in life generally?

Unfairness!

If you could wish one employment law away what would it be?

The way the resolution of disputes must be carried out – not the principle itself, but the procedural aspect.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Spread greater equality across nations and eradicate poverty in the Third World.

When you were younger, what was your ambition?

To be a purser on a ship.

Who’s your hero?

My nana! At the age of 95 she was still very inspirational and taught me to be grateful for everything in life. If she could still crack a smile then I can.

CV

2007-present

Senior HR director, Getty Images

1999-2007

HR director, Getty Images

1995-1999

International HR manager, Getty Images

1994-1995

HR manager, Tony Stone Images

1986-1994

Various roles, Tony Stone Images

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