What is your new role?
European director of diversity and inclusion at Lehman Brothers investment bank.
Where were you working before, and what were your duties?
I was head of legal for the equities division in Europe for Lehman Brothers.
What qualifications do you hold?
A first class honours degree from Cambridge University. I am also a qualified solicitor.
What are the duties in your new role?
To develop, drive and deliver the diversity strategy for Lehman Brothers in Europe. We have a team of five. I report to the head of HR for Europe and our chief diversity officer who is based in New York.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I want to drive the diversity and inclusion agenda deeper into our business units, with help from our senior executives and managers, so we increase the rate of change in our organisation.
What are the challenges HR faces in the next five years?
HR has to play an increasingly strategic role in the success of an organisation. Companies that fail to appreciate that talent comes in many forms – and that no single group has a monopoly on talent – face dire consequences in our highly competitive landscape. HR professionals have a key part to play in this regard, both as a strategic partner in the boardroom and a catalyst for change within the organisation.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
Make it a priority to really understand the business units within your organisation.
What is the essential tool in your job?
Credibility with senior business executives.
And the most overrated?
That you need to be evangelical about diversity to work in diversity. You don’t. You need to be focused about the business case and the value proposition that comes with an inclusive philosophy.
What is the worst thing about HR?
It is too early to comment. I am still enjoying my ‘honeymoon period’ in HR and have no desire to bring it to a premature end.
Who is your ultimate guru?
Borat (just kidding).
What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?
‘Time is money’.
What is your essential TV viewing?
Who would you most dislike to work with?
Ken Livingstone, but I might be mistaken.
How do you fill your spare time?
With my family.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
In a professional context, taking this job.
What was the last book you read?
More Than 85 Broads by Janet Hanson.
What song gets you on the dance floor?
Get Busy by Sean Paul.
What would be your dream job?
Any senior position in an organisation where you have the mandate to make a difference, the stature to be taken seriously, and the work-life balance to stay sane.
Who would play you in the film of your life and why?
Well, I am told I look a bit like Tiger Woods, but I am not sure acting is his thing.
Tell us about your top job
Have you just landed a fantastic new job? E-mail [email protected] with all the details.
European director of diversity and inclusion, Lehman Brothers
Sept 2003-Sept 2006
Head of equities legal, Europe, Lehman Brothers
Sept 2000-Sept 2003
Capital markets legal, Lehman Brothers
Derivatives lawyer, CSFB
Solicitor, Clifford Chance