What does your job at EIDA involve?
I lead the team at EIDA, working with our business members and other organisations to achieve our vision of every employer in the UK taking action on domestic abuse. It’s about raising awareness, creating tools to help employers to support their people impacted by domestic abuse and bringing businesses together to share learnings.
What inspired you to take up your current role?
I got to know EIDA when I was Managing Partner for the UK and Africa of global law firm, Hogan Lovells. We worked with EIDA when we were introducing our response to domestic abuse and became an EIDA Beacon. When I decided it was time to move on from Hogan Lovells (after 33 years!), I was approached by EIDA about the CEO role. I was thrilled since it fits perfectly with what I want to do at the next stage of my career.
What were you doing in the few years before you joined EIDA?
Before joining EIDA, I’d been the first Global Managing Partner for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Responsible Business at Hogan Lovells. Delivering on our commitments to DEI and Responsible Business is one of the firm’s five strategic priorities. I led a global team focussed on DEI, wellbeing, our pro bono and community investment work and sustainability.
What do you like about working at EIDA?
I feel energised by EIDA’s mission, working with a team of highly motivated people, a supportive Board, engaging with business and with other organisations who have a shared purpose. I’m also enjoying the freedom and flexibility of not having a permanent office – as a team we meet once a week around my kitchen table!
Why do you think it is important that employers tackle domestic abuse?
Employers have a responsibility to their people and are very well placed to provide support to those impacted by domestic abuse. People can’t perform at their best – or at all - if they are facing terrible challenges in their home life. Whilst at Hogan Lovells I learned the importance of keeping our offices open as a safe space and how sometimes small steps (altering work patterns, providing paid time off, giving people private space to make calls, signposting people to specialist support) can make all the difference.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love being active and outside. I am a keen cyclist and ride every weekend with a small group of friends, which keeps me physically and mentally fit. I love learning new things: most recently I learned to ballroom dance for a charity event which was great fun. I also love watching films and immersing myself in a novel.
What is your favourite quote?
“Nothing is impossible.” Audrey Hepburn (and no doubt many others).
Tell us something about you that few people know.
When travelling with my great friend Sarah years ago, our truck was turned back at the border between Algeria and Morocco. We were all taken into custody and spent a night in a police station before being released. To this day we have no idea why… and I am glad it was at a time before mobile phones, so our parents only learned about it once we eventually returned home!