Julia Knapp

Julia Knapp | Transport for London

I am an experienced practitioner in organisational change management.

At the start of my career I worked at the Australian National Audit Office while undertaking my double degree in Psychology and Commerce at the Australian National University.  Once I had completed my studies, I took up a graduate position at KPMG before taking a year off to travel overseas.   After travelling around Southeast Asia, I ended up in London where I worked at the London Audit Commission. This was a great experience as it taught me the importance of being dedicated to delivering quality work, believing in my ability to achieve results and taking opportunities when they presented themselves.  When I returned to Australia, I worked at KPMG for two more years, before joining the Business Improvement Team at the Department of Education and Employment. One of my key roles was to design and facilitate workshops to develop strategies and improve processes.  The team was a great success and was well regarded and respected across the department. It was at this time that I won the Chief Executive Women Scholarship to attend a Leadership Course at INSEAD in Singapore. The course was an essential step in my career where I learnt how to further develop my leadership skills while also having the opportunity to meet people from a variety of cultures around the world.

I decided to return to London to build upon my change management skills at a boutique change management firm, where I worked with a range of clients to manage change in complex programmes.  Following this role I joined Transport for London and worked as a change and benefits manager on transformation projects.

I am passionate about working with organisations to ensure people are engaged in change programmes to realise the full value of organisational change.


Donna Harman

Donna Harman | Transport for London

I grew up in a small leafy commuter town in Surrey and struggled at school more than my peers. I self funded myself through University studying Business and there I was diagnosed with dyslexia. From then, with the additional support Southampton Solent University provided at the time, my career direction started to take shape and my confidence in my abilities grew. Given my own background, I knew I wanted to help others professionally, and became an expert at giving career advice for friends and family so I looked for a trainee roles in Learning and Development.

I've also always had a motivating energy inside me which makes me want to go further and grasp experiences with both hands. From Southampton, I knew the bright lights of London were calling me, and I moved up on my own in 2005 and have been here since. From there, I started at Transport for London, then Metronet, in my perfect 'trainee' role.

Other than a two-year gap where I taught English abroad at worked at the fabulous Institute of Electrical Engineering, I have been at TfL since. It has been a great professional home for me and I have worked my way up and through departments to my current role - STARS Project Manager, which is a scheme to encourage young Londoners to travel safely, actively and sustainably.

I have had inspirational managers and mentors throughout my career who have really helped my build confidence and believe in me, and I am still in contact with all of them. Having a supportive manager is the one thing that helps when stress levels rise - now I am a manager, I like to think I show the same support.

I have had a varied and interesting career at TfL. From working in Learning and Development, I moved within HR to run graduate and apprentice programmes to get the best talent in and help train and develop future managers. I then through working with graduates, saw an opportunity to work in a creative role, so was seconded to a Communications Officer where I ran projects for London Buses and London Dial-a-Ride. Bringing both young people strategy and communications together, I applied for my current role - an opportunity to be seconded to what I feel is the most exciting job (including job title) in TfL - STARS Project Manager! This current role bring all of my experience together in a nice neat package, whilst still challenging me on a daily basis. And I feel it helps all London school children by building their and their parents confidence for them to travel safely around our city from a young age.

As a female, I grew up believing I could achieve whatever I put my mind to and my parents were loving and encouraging, despite me being the first in the family to go to University or move away from home. I believe anyone can do anything they put their mind to, if circumstances allow and if you let yourself be seen so someone catches that spark in you.


megan key

Megan Key | Ministry of Justice

I joined the National Probation Service in 2005 as a dedicated trainee probation officer committed to supporting my local community and reducing re-offending in inner city Birmingham. I have since worked in various roles both as a front line team manager then project manager until taking my current position, as regional Equalities Manager in 2014 responsible for promoting and delivering inclusive practices for staff and service users. I came out as a trans woman five years ago, the only visible trans person in the NPS I’m aware of, and shared my experience with colleagues nationally across Prisons, Probation and the Ministry of Justice to develop understanding and celebrate diversity. I am passionate about empowering people and support a range of initiatives across business and charity speaking publicly in schools, prisons, corporations and in Government. I have given interviews to magazines, radio and newspapers to amplify trans voices and highlight inequality for LGBT people and volunteer for Mermaids, Diversity Role Models, Stonewall, All About Trans and others. Two years ago, I co-created an online community, TransWorkersUK, to support trans people in the workplace and have contributed to research to improve workplace experiences. Outside of work, I’m a keen runner and having finished five marathons, am competing in my first ultramarathon in September.

Lauren Bottomley

Lauren Bottomley | Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

I left school at 14 with no GSCE’s due to a bit of a rough family situation. I moved out at 15 and had around 14 different jobs from waitress to groom to sales person by the time I was 19. I then decided I wanted to do something more with my life and decided to follow in my Dad’s footsteps who’d had a very fulfilling if very challenging career as a Mental Health nurse. As much as he was supportive he explained the many challenges of working in the Public Sector, but I was excited to help people and build a career I could truly be proud of.

I am now a 26 yro, working and living within London. I qualified as a mental health nurse in 2013 and have been working with adolescents with additional and complex needs since. I thoroughly enjoy working with children and young adults and am extremely dedicated to my role as a mental health nurse.

I got promoted to Band 6 after just 14 months of being qualified (typically takes 3-5 years) and have been approached about Band 7 roles (Can take 10 years+ for some). I’m so proud of this given my bumpy start.

I have a very large family (I am one of 8 children) and, despite this, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my family in my free time. I love travelling to new places, meeting new people and generally exploring the world we live in.


Jennifer Morris featured

Jennifer Morris | Barts Health NHS Trust

After four years of fertility research at the University of Birmingham I decided to hang up my lab coat in search of a more significant role in improving healthcare services. In 2013, whilst completing my thesis, I started my NHS career on the Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS). For two years I explored a range of different operational and strategic roles, locally and nationally with the aim of improving the delivery of healthcare services for current and future generations. Highlights include working at the Cabinet Office,  with the radiology and pharmacy departments at Bedford Hospital NHS Trust to improve patient experience and flow through the hospital; and South Worcestershire CCG to improve the transfer of patients between hospitals, community providers and care homes.

Upon completion of the GMTS, I joined NHS England’s strategy team working with NHS providers, commissioners and industry to trial innovations as part of the Test Beds programme. A Five Year Forward View initiative, I expected that my greatest achievement would be the discovery of a new digital technology. However, here I learnt the skills required to unite diverse teams over a common shared goal; improving patient experience and outcomes.

Recently, I joined Barts Health NHS Trust to lead on the surgical component of the Transforming services together programme. Here my enthusiasm, adaptability and commitment are required to turn clinician’s visions for providing the best quality care for their patients into practice. Together my collective experience has strengthened my passion for improving patient care and ensuring a sustainable NHS.

In addition to my role I take an active interest in the development of future NHS leaders, mentoring GMTS trainees and actively participating in opportunities to promote careers within the NHS. In my spare time I attempt to bake masterpieces that I inflict on all!


Annette Henley featured

Annette Henley | Home Office

Annette Henley is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager working as Lead Engineer on the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme in the Home Office.
She is currently leading on the development of airborne mobile communications services as part of the role out of the ESN (Emergency Services Network) and the development of the technical fit of ESN for emergency services aircraft.She originally joined the Civil Service as a graduate trainee engineer in September 1990 at the Radiocommunications Agency (forerunner of Ofcom) and has recently received a Civil Service long service award. In the early part of her career she was responsible for the spectrum management of mobile radio services for private business applications and was responsible for the architecture of the regulatory structure that has allowed the development of licence free use of WiFi.She has been working on emergency services communications since October 2005 and is really passionate about the opportunity to design technology that really matters.
Her involvement in mental health, staff wellbeing and welfare stems from personal experience in 2012. She is the chair of the Home Office London Mental Health buddy group, a founder member of Break the Stigma at 2 Marsham Street and a Mental Health First Aider. She also chairs the Home Office Big White Wall steering group. Introducing Big White Wall as a staff support across the Home Office was her original idea.

Joanna Ludlam

Joanna Ludlam | Carillion Plc

In November 2014, I started my career in FM with Carillion Services on their Graduate scheme. After 2 years of exploring the business, in 5 different roles I chose my career as a Change Manager and was lucky enough to be offered the job I absolutely wanted.

I love being a Change Manager, because it is all about people. It’s about taking people on a journey through a period of change, which can sometimes be exciting, and sometimes be unsettling and it’s my job to ensure that journey is as positive as can be.

The FM industry is ever changing and evolving, and we’re always encouraged to look for ways to improve our business. Alongside my day job, I’m also involved in a return to work project, looking at how we can improve the way we re-induct and continue to engage with people that return to work for us from a period of leave, whether it be Maternity, Paternity, Long Term Sick or a Sabbatical. I believe this will enhance our ability to attract and retain great talent within the industry.

I really enjoy being a mentor to our new graduate cohort. It’s great to be able to offer support and advice, plus share my experience of the scheme. I’d like to expand my mentoring to outside of my workplace and share my experience with secondary school girls who may be thinking about a career in business.

Running keeps me busy during my spare time and I am part of a local running club. Running is great for exercise, but I also use it as a tool to alleviate stress. It is really important to recognise stress in the workplace, and I actively encourage my colleagues to talk about stress and how it can be managed.


iliana deevska

Iliana Deevska | CBRE

I am an Associate Director within the Investment Advisory team of CBRE Capital Advisors, a part of CBRE. My role includes both debt and equity investment strategies.

Within Investment Advisory I work with institutional investors and focus primarily on investments into pooled funds, fund acquisitions and broader real estate investment strategies.  My responsibilities also include the monitoring and research of the European real estate fund market.

My clients include Asian and American institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies or endowment funds.

Prior to joining CBRE, I worked in banking and insurance in The Netherlands in various Risk Management functions with a focus on credit risk and capital management for real estate and other asset-heavy industries.

I have a degree in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA from INSEAD.  I am also a CFA Level 3 candidate. I am originally from Bulgaria and speak fluently English, Bulgarian and Dutch as well as intermediate Russian.


Alison Bowen

Alison Bowen | Interserve

Alison left school at the age of 16 having completed her GCSE’s and went on to complete a GNVQ in the Built Environment at her local college, opting for a vocation in part because of her dyslexia.  Alison had always known that she wanted to enter the Construction industry due to her love of construction sites and cranes.  It was during this time that Alison decided that Quantity Surveying was the discipline that she wanted to follow.  Following successful completion of her GNVQ, Alison went on to study a BSc (Hons) in Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying at UMIST, graduating in 2002.

Following 4 years, completing her graduate training and working within the Construction Industry, in 2006 Alison joined Interserve as a Quantity Surveyor where she was worked in the Falkland Islands as part of the commercial team on the Defence Estates contract maintaining the Military facilities.

Following her tour, she was promoted to Senior Quantity Surveyor and moved to work on a similar contract in Cyprus where after 6 months she was promoted to Commercial Manager.  In 2010, Alison returned to the UK, where after a working briefly for Landmark (an Interserve Joint Venture), she joined the now named Communities Business Unit as a Senior Commercial Manager where she undertook the Commercial Manager role on a number of prestigious PFI and TFM Contracts covering a number of different sectors.

In July 2016, Alison was promoted to Head of Commercial and is the focal point for the commercial function within the Local Authority and Education sector.  Managing a team of 3 Commercial Managers and providing commercial support to the relevant Account Directors mitigating risk and maximising opportunities.


Judy Zhu

Judy Zhu | CBRE

I came to UK in December 2014 and joined CBRE National Valuation in April 2015. Before that, I was studying hospitality management in China, where I did all my education. My first job was in Walt Disney World, as an intern. I rotated from housekeeping to front desk. Although working in hospitality industry is indeed physically demanding, it taught me 3 key things of successful business – customer first, attention to details and go above and beyond. My first step into property industry was my internship in Shanghai JLL Hotel team. I found myself passionate about analysis and research and volunteered in various research projects. Later I was appointed to take charge of Greater China hotel market research. I learned one thing for personal development – pursue my passion and work hard. When I initially started my job in CBRE, I found it challenging, from language to business culture. But it keeps me humble and looking for improvement. I learnt new data analysis tool and created new reporting system. To maximize my value in the business, I give training and presentations across company and joined different initiative groups. The great thing I’ve learnt in CBRE is – be innovative and collaborative.