Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?
I was working for Nacro, which aims to reduce crime through preventative and resettlement work. I held a strategic role, leading on equality and diversity issues.
What qualifications do you hold?
I have a BA Hons in social sciences.
What are the duties in your new role?
As Genesis is a social investment business, it’s my role to work as a business partner to the people delivering services to our customers. This is to improve customer experience and move towards a workplace culture that helps people achieve their highest potential.
What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?
Retention of good employees will still be a big challenge, even in the current climate; different generations have different expectations of what they want from the workplace, and the role it plays in their lives.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
I was once filmed for a documentary on hate crime. We had to re-enact a meeting that had already taken place. And I once had to interview someone whose mother had given him a really bad reference.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Positive, determined and calm.
What was your lucky break?
Getting my first job in the equality field, without any experience.
What do you regret about your career?
Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows.
I’m really scared of moths.
Who was your childhood hero?
Queen Elizabeth I – she was the first female icon I’d ever heard of.
Tell us about your best ever holiday.
India – I loved so much about this continent; the people, the food, the architecture and its natural beauty. I also love Italy for all the same reasons.
What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?
Be open-minded about people – the rewards are greater.
Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.
Be brave – believe in what you do and in yourself.
- 2009-present – Head of diversity and inclusiveness, Genesis Housing Group (social investment)
- 2001-2009 – Head of equality strategy, Nacro (National crime reduction charity)
- 1996-2001 – Race and housing adviser, Bristol City Council
- 1994-1996 – Training and development officer, Centre for Employment and Education (charity sector training and development)
- 1992-1994 – Race and housing officer, Bristol City Council