Top job: Gill Crowther, HR director, Nominet

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I ran my own consultancy business, Great Managers. I worked closely with Judith Leary Joyce from Great Companies Consulting, helping organisations become employers of choice. This involved coaching leadership groups and high-potential managers.

What qualifications do you hold?

BSc Engineering and Business Studies, and the CIPD qualification.

What will be the duties in your new role?

To drive the HR strategy for Nominet, and to be part of the leadership team working to shape the company’s future. I join two others in the HR team and will report to the chief executive, Lesley Cowley.

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Differentiating Nominet from its competitors. Nominet has already achieved one star in the ‘best companies’ process and I will be continuing to build on our leadership and management populations while focusing on the needs of the customer.

What is the essential tool in your job?


And the most overrated?

I think most tools have their place, but only if you make sure they are relevant and tailored to your needs.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The opinion of others when they use soft language.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

When I was an employee relations officer at a car plant, I had to attend the funerals of the firm’s pensioners.

Who is your ultimate hero?

Terry Wogan.

How do you fill your spare time?

I have two young children so I don’t get much spare time, but I love entertaining others. And I must get back to playing squash.

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate, mother and communicator.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Anything by Abba.

What is your worst habit?

I tend to say it as I see it.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

After four weeks at Microsoft, I told the director of people, profit and loyalty my thoughts on how to improve the department. Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to develop my job so that I could go and fix things.

What three items would you take with you on a desert island?

My husband Sim, my son Ben and my daughter Katie.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Julie Walters, because I have a tendency to do silly voices.

What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?

The last Great Companies Consulting party – it ended up in a karaoke session.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Tony Blair – to ask him what it’s been like to be prime minister for the past 10 years.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

Enjoy it, and if you’re not enjoying it change something.

Crowther’s CV

June 2007-present: HR director, Nominet UK (internet registry for .uk domain names)

Nov 2003-May 2007: Managing director, Great Managers (business consultancy)

June 2002-Oct 2003: Head of Great Managers and head of Great HR practice, Microsoft

April 2001-May 2002: HR manager, skills and infrastructure, Microsoft

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