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Cathy Taylor | Morgan McKinley

A Senior Marketing and Communications Recruitment Consultant with over 6 years of experience across the Financial Services industry. I currently work for Morgan McKinley an industry leading Recruitment Consultancy based in Central London.

My first exposure to recruitment came at 16 when I completed one month’s work experience working for the UK’s largest privately-owned recruitment agency. Having already made the choice not to go into further education, I was asked by the Director to come back and be a permanent member of the team. I spent the next three years working my way up to become one of the UK’s highest billing temporary recruiters. This is where I developed my passion for helping candidates with their next career moves and realised that I had a strong ability to match clients’ needs to specific skill sets.

In 2014, I was headhunted by a specialist recruitment agency, to join their Financial Services division. Through a mutual connection I was approached by a Director and after two years within the business I became a specialist in the Finance arena and the top performing consultant in the team. I am now at Morgan McKinley where I was yet again head hunted by a Director I had previously worked with.

Over the past four years, I’ve become incredibly passionate about women in business and coaching female talent, some of the initiatives I have been involved in have included; Becoming a ‘Buddy’ for Morgan McKinley; assisting and running my own diversity and inclusion networking events (these have been focused on helping female talent progress up the corporate ladder), as well as regularly attending women’s networking events myself.

At 23 years of age I am dedicated to supporting people from different academic and professional backgrounds. I enjoy coaching them through challenging recruitment processes and I have a high success rate of securing them their next career role.


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Siobhan Grant | Mums4Work

Mums4Work support, guide and find mums jobs that fit around them and their family.Aim is to tackle diversity, equality, gender pay and flexibility. Mums4Work also act as a recruitment provider, so if you require staff please contact.

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Laura Pettitt | Insignis Ltd

I started my professional career ten years ago and was quickly catapulted into the world of recruitment. For the next 7 1/2 years I learnt how to win business, source contract and permanent candidates, employment law, management (people and business) and how to develop and nurture lasting relationships . Working with extraordinary clients I carved a career for myself running a business with a turnover of 11million for a large recruitment business, heading up client engagement and latterly taking on the challenge of turning around a failing recruitment business.

I became interested in employee engagement and the psychology of people and what makes them tick. As luck would have it I had the opportunity to work for a brand experience business designing engagement programmes and employer brand propositions. Seeing a gap in the market I took the leap to start on my own and combine my experience to deliver something innovative and new to the market. That was nearly a year ago and I've never looked back!


Sahar Malekzandi | Bloomberg

I grew up just outside of Washington DC, and attended Hofstra University in New York to study Psychology. During my time at University, I worked at organizations like Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and the Salvation Army’s Centre for Children, which were incredibly enlightening opportunities. Shortly after I graduated, I moved into NYC to pursue my career, working for 3 years in digital & print advertising, on the development of Disney Visa campaigns.

I joined Bloomberg in 2010, and started my career in campus recruitment. I wanted to work somewhere that I could make an impact on people’s lives, and it was so gratifying to help budding graduates find their passions in life. I spent 5 outstanding years at the centre of the tech boom in the US, searching for the world’s best talent, and combing through universities across the country for those hidden gems. I was responsible for our Engineering Diversity Program, which encompassed efforts across all areas of diversity, from women in tech, to Black & Hispanic communities, LGBT, veterans, and youth programs, as well as the development of our Technology Scholarship Program.

One day, another incredible opportunity arose, and I moved to London to build our Software Engineering Recruitment team, hiring graduate students across the UK and Europe, and hosting exciting initiatives with local organizations like StartupBus, HackTrain, CodeCon competitions, and more. I have spent the last few years focused on the expansion of our Engineering efforts across EMEA, the development of multiple technical initiatives, and the growth of our diversity engagement. It has been an incredibly challenging, exciting, and fulfilling time!


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Laura Herbert | Thales UK

Laura is a HR Change Partner within the Defence Mission Systems HR Team at Thales UK. She joined Thales in 2013 after completing a Graduate Leadership Programme within local government, which included working with the HR department to help manage a complex transformation programme that resulted from the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and the need to save the organisation over £80million, which included establishing a shared service centre and streamlining terms and conditions for over 7,000 member of staff. This exposure to complex HR and Organisation Development piqued Laura’s interest in the world of HR and she began to develop her professional knowledge of the industry through roles in Early Careers and Talent Management.

Passionate about helping young people into the world of work, Laura led the Early Careers function at Thales across the UK, promoting opportunities to ambitious young individuals completing STEM based subjects. She designed an award winning early careers attraction campaign that encouraged females to engage with the organisation to create a more diverse workforce.

Laura has also coached and mentored a significant number of apprentices, interns and graduates during her career, playing a pivotal role in the career development of young talent.

After moving through a range of HR and Organisation Development disciplines across the public and private sectors, a rarity for someone still rising within their discipline, Laura is now working on the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier Alliance. It is her responsibility to design and implement a programme of change to support Thales staff over the next couple of years once the programme comes to an end, illustrating that she is a true HR business partner and giving Laura excellent all-round experience as she continues to rise within the HR industry.


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Stephanie O'Hara | Nomura International Plc

Stephanie became an HR Advisor in September 2011, having previously completed two years as an HR Analyst at Nomura. Stephanie is married with two daughters, and over the last six years has returned seamlessly from two periods of Maternity leave back into roles with ever increasing responsibility.

Currently Stephanie is the HR Advisor to a number of Nomura’s control and support functions, and has a client population of approx. 450. Stephanie successfully operates at all levels, and is considered a trusted Advisor to Managing Directors including Nomura’s European General Counsel, Head of Compliance and Head of Operations (Middle Office).

Stephanie attended the Ravensbourne School in Kent, and holds A Levels in Spanish, English Literature and Performance Studies. With a proud Greek heritage she is raising her daughters bilingually, whilst carefully striking a successful work-life balance through a 4 day week arrangement with Nomura.

Prior to joining Nomura, Stephanie commenced her HR career at Capita Group and Societe Generale Asset Management, between 2006-2009.


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Valeriya Nefyodova | BP

Originally from Ukraine, I moved to the UK over 8 years ago in pursuit of my educational goals. Having achieved a First class degree in Psychology from UCL, I was determined to build a career in a discipline where I could put all my energies to making people's lives at work better, and my choice fell on Human Resources. I joined BP through HR Graduate scheme and after completing two rotations working closely with Group and Senior leaders particularly in Procurement function, I progressed in my career as HR Advisor working for Castrol, BP’s Lubricants business. In parallel I have completed my CIPD qualification, focusing my final dissertation on the ‘employee voice’ and how to ensure that the employees feel ‘heard’ as well as supported by organizations.

As part of my career and professional growth in BP, I have developed to lead business transformation activities, build teams of successful performers, and create an engaged workforce through business partnering. In addition to this, I currently represent HR in BP WIN (the BP Women’s International Network), a business resource group that aims to foster, develop and retain talented women by learning from others.

I work with dedication, strive for excellence and treat others with respect. I genuinely enjoy meeting new people, seeing new places and exploring different cultures - both through work and outside.


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Maria Ursu | Vodafone

I joined Vodafone in 2011 as part of the Discover Graduate Programme in Italy. Currently I am HR Business Partner at Vodafone Group, London UK, and work closely with Technology Senior Leaders -challenging and driving performance across the business areas through exemplary people & organisational practices. I am supporting the Technology 2020 Strategy by hiring best talent, growing and developing people and building high performing teams.

Being very passionate about people and an active promoter of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives both in Vodafone and externally, I am leading the Vodafone Women in Technology community empowering all women across Technology to fulfil their potential.

In 2013 I volunteered in Tanzania to support the Vodafone Foundation Moyo initiative in helping women living with obstetric fistula in Tanzania’s rural areas.

In 2012 I was awarded as Vodafone Global Hero for a joint initiative to connect the Vodafone Graduate community globally on one single platform.

Before joining Vodafone, I worked with MBA students at SDA Bocconi School of Management counselling them on their career progression.

Proudly graduated with MSc in Management of Human Resources and a BSc in International Economics and Management from Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.

Born in Moldova,  I studied and worked in Romania, Italy and UK.


Kirsten Doherty

Kirsten Doherty | Accenture

Kirsten graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BSc in Immunology and Pharmacology and a MSc in Information Technology before moving to London to work as a software developer before becoming an Application Outsourcing Solution Architect. Her career took a complete turn when attending Accenture’s International Women’s Day where she realised her passion for people and how the human mind works could become a career. Still a self-confessed geek she works as Accenture’s UK Inclusion and Diversity Lead where she is accountable for all the work done across gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family and social mobility. One of her objective is to remove the stigma around mental health by changing hearts and minds of men and women together through storytelling and education until anyone outside or inside of the workplace can feel supported and not judged.

Karin Forbes

Karin Forbes | Barclays

I believe that success comes from hard work, dedication and astute thinking. I have always applied these principles to aid both my personal and professional success. Originally from Edinburgh, I studied MA International Business at the University of Edinburgh receiving First Class Honours in 2015. During my time at university I won numerous awards, the most prestigious being the Iain Isdale Memorial Prize for the most distinguished 4th year dissertation and the W V Stevens prize for achieving top student of the University of Edinburgh Business School. I also completed an international exchange year at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where I was lucky enough to work with Deloitte and The Coca-Cola Company in a consultancy capacity.

After interning in the Wealth and Investment Management Business Partner team in summer 2014, I returned to the Barclays graduate programme in August 2015. I have completed rotations as a Business Partner for Operations and Global Markets before starting in my current role in the Service Company Structural Reform Programme team. The role stems from financial regulatory requirements that define the future operating model of UK banks. The workstream I am part of is responsible for the set up of the Group Service Company. I thoroughly enjoy this strategic HR role in what is a critical project for Barclays.

I have also continued my studies on the Barclays Graduate Programme where I am currently studying for the Level 7 CIPD qualification which I hope to achieve this summer before converting this into a Master’s degree. I also seek further development opportunities outside of my role by acting as a member of the committee in the Early Careers Network, where I run large scale development events with external corporate partners, mentor early careers talent and reverse mentor the global Head of Compliance.