Zoe Whyatt (Chair)
Zoe has spent time working in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in senior roles with fast-growth start-up organisations. Previous roles include COO at dorsaVi Europe Ltd (wearable technology); Head of Global Operations for CogState (cognitive testing software); Acting CEO of SecondBite, a food rescue charity. She also worked as an Investment Director for Impetus-PEF – a venture philanthropy charity, and it was here that she first encountered WorkingRite. Zoe’s key area of expertise is advising on how startups and SMEs can successfully balance the complex demands of growth with achieving and maintaining quality outcomes/products. She is currently an advisor at the Darlington Social Research Unit.
Zoe is passionate about social justice and the responsibility we have to young people who find it hard to navigate a positive working future by themselves.
First Job: At 16 I started a Saturday job John Lewis – Children’s Shoes Dept.
Strongest memory of your first job: I loved earning my own money and the feeling of satisfaction at the end of a long day (which more often than not involved a kick or two to the head while fitting shoes to little people!)
Susan is currently a business and talent consultant with clients in the private, public and third sectors. She was previously Director of Corporate Development for Lumesse, an HR SaaS (software as a service) organisation where she was responsible for M&A and strategic projects. Prior to this she has been a Head of Consulting and earlier in her career a Client Services Director for a recruitment process outsourcing business working with large corporates like Amazon, BP and Microsoft on their school leaver and graduate recruitment. She started her career with a firm of clinical and occupational psychologists and with a background in HR and psychology she has specialist expertise in talent acquisition and management, organisational development and programme management.
First Job: Whilst still at a school I worked in a local convenience store.
Strongest memory of your first job: Going to the cash and carry with the store owners and getting to choose what I thought would sell well to the ‘kids’ in the town. I was right. This was my first experience of buyer profiling and understanding your target market.
As People Director at Standard Life Investments, Elsa leads the global people function responsible for attraction, retention and development of talent across the firm, supporting business effectiveness through organisation design and international expansion, and delivering regular people processes including reward, performance management, resourcing and talent management.
Following her degree and postgraduate studies, including time living in France and Switzerland, Elsa started her career in HR over 25 years ago and has experience across a number of sectors; Financial Services, electronics, consulting and manufacturing. She has also worked as a management consultant and in international marketing and has an MBA in Marketing. She has experience with different cultures and countries having travelled and worked across Europe, North America, South East Asia and India.
First Job: Loading and unloading the dishwasher in my local hotel.
Strongest memory of your first job: It was hot and hard work but I loved the buzz of the kitchen and earning my first pay cheque. Later I worked at Boots on Saturdays which was a lot easier!
Vicky Di Ciacca
Vicky is a co-founder and director of Be Positive, a specialist Business Analysis consultancy. She has over 20 years’ experience working with companies to deliver organisational change – balancing the need to operate in changing commercial and regulatory environments with the need to ensure good governance. Vicky has worked with a range of organisations – from international corporations to educational establishments, from Financial Services companies to charities.
First Job: I started working in a high street jewellery shop aged 16. I became an expert in changing watch batteries and watch straps.
Strongest memory of your first job: The really fiddly springs in watch straps that used to ping across the tiny workshop when I was trying to change them. And the patience of my first manager when I had to ask her (yet again) for more springs.
Euan is a Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand specialist who has over 10 years’ experience working across public and private sectors throughout the UK and across the globe. Previous roles saw him work as a senior consultant providing recruitment solutions to social and healthcare clients across Scotland, followed by operating as a Senior Recruitment Manager at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. This role saw Euan work on “The best games ever”, delivering a suite of solutions to ensure the Operating Committee delivered the largest, most complex movement of people in Scotland since the second World War. Since completion of this Euan has operated within a global Oil, Gas and Ship Management specialist and Financial Services. He is currently works for the leading asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen where he leads on Talent Attraction and Employer Branding, positioning the organisation as a multi-generational, diverse, reward destination for talent on a local and global stage. He has a passionate for Psychology, HR, Marketing and Digital.
First job: Front of house at a well-known Swedish flat pack furniture shop
Strongest memory of first job: The opening weekend of the Glasgow store (and the bright yellow shirt!), I had never seen so many people flock to a shop before and was very much out my depth. My manager led by example, made sure I learned something each day and made work fun. Be it pushing trollies, working in a book shop while at university or in my current role, I have always remembered this and try to instil it in everything I do.