Meet the speakers at the 2016 Annual Conference

Keynote Speaker

Marjorie Strachan, Head of Inclusion, The Royal Bank of Scotland 

Marjorie Strachan

Marjorie has over 20 years experience of working across the Financial Services industry in HR, Change and Organisational Development roles.

Following a variety of line management roles, Marjorie spent five years running an internet services business before joining Accenture as an Executive in their Talent & Organisational Performance Practice.  During her time with Accenture, Marjorie led the Change Management Practice for Accenture’s UK Financial Services client group and had responsibility for all Human Capital consulting across Capital Markets in the UK and across all industry groups in Scotland.

Marjorie re-joined RBS as a COO for HR in 2011.  She now has responsibility for RBS’ culture and inclusion agendas. Specialising in organisational effectiveness and change management, Marjorie has degrees in Industrial Psychology and Business Administration from The University of Strathclyde and has qualifications in Human Resource Management and Culture from Napier University and The University of Harvard.  She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

Outside of work, Marjorie is married with two daughters and a baby son.


Chair and Speakers

Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive, Working Families

Picture of Sarah Jackson

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Working Families and has led work-life balance campaigning and culture change for over twenty years. Sarah is an acknowledged expert and has worked across the political spectrum to push for positive change including the right to request flexible working, improvements to maternity and paternity leave and fathers’ rights at work.

Sarah works collaboratively with the third sector, trade unions, employers and business leaders to argue for change.  Sarah chairs the judging panel for the respected Top Employers for Working Families Employer Awards and for the new Scottish Top Employers for Working Families awards.  She is called upon for her expertise including in 2010 being a member of the Family Friendly Hours Task Force.  Between 2011 and 2013 Sarah chaired the Promoting Flexible Working: Private Sector Employers Group for the Department for Work and Pensions.  Sarah spearheaded the introduction of the ‘happy to talk flexible working’ strapline to encourage a greater spread of flexible work in job advertising which has recently received the endorsement of the CBI and TUC.


Monica Gordon, Diversity & Inclusion Manager BAE Systems Naval Ships

Monica Gordon picture

Monica spent the first 10 years of her career with KMPG in London and followed that with 10 years at another London firm –  Penna plc – in a variety of consulting, business development and management roles.  She moved to Australia in 2006 and at that point she left consultancy to work in senior corporate roles.  Her last 4 years there was spent as the National Workplace Diversity Manager for a large international construction group based in Melbourne.

That job took her to project sites all over Australia – working in the outback she was  introduced  to Aboriginal culture and customs; in remote coastal areas she learned how iron ore gets shipped to China; and in the bright lights of Melbourne and Sydney and the not so bright lights of Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth she found out (too) much about Australian wine.

For Monica D&I is not just about representation of minorities.  At BAE she focuses mostly on Inclusion and how to create a fair and equitable workplace where everyone can thrive in line with their potential and their personal goals.


Cat Hines, Head of Early Careers & Private Secretary to the Executive Director of HR, Bank of EnglandCat Hines

Cat joined the Bank of England in 1997, and has worked in a range of business areas, but has specialised in HR since 2003.  Cat’s current role is as Private Secretary to the Bank’s Executive Director for HR, and prior to that, Cat headed up the Bank’s ‘annual rounds’ recruitment (graduates and school leavers).  In both of her most recent roles, Cat has been very much involved in the Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda and is a member of the steering committee for the Women in the Bank network.  Outside of work, Cat is a school governor at a community primary school in West Essex and is married, with a 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter.


Mitra Janes, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms

Mitra Janes picture

Monica has a clear strategic vision of improved diversity within the legal sector and in society more broadly and has developed and implemented a number of initiatives focused on developing the talent pipeline. Prior to her role at DLA Piper, Mitra was Diversity and Inclusion Manager for Ford Motor Company. Mitra has been part of the Agile Future Forum since its inception, representing Ford and now DLA Piper. Outside of work, Mitra is a school governor at a girls’ secondary school and is committed to inspiring future generations of women to achieve their full potential. Mitra is married with a 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son.


Jonathan Swan, Research Manager, Working Families

Jonathan Swan image

Jonathan has researched and written on a wide range of work-life integration issues, including: fathers and work, flexible working in senior roles, productivity and performance, organisational culture and active ageing. He is responsible for the annual Top Employers for Working Families benchmark for organisations and the Modern Families Index reports. He is currently part of the ESRC funded research consortium that is examining work-life balance and the effects of austerity.



Workshop Leaders

Carole Edmond, Founder & CEO, Glass Moon Strategies

Carole Edmond image

Glass Moon Strategies focuses on sustainable investment and growth in the childcare and early education sector in the UK and internationally.

Carole is currently completing a Doctoral programme on the subject matter ‘Female Attainment’. Through strategic collaborations with like-minded organisations, she plans to combine the research findings with her passion for supporting women’s advancement in business and leadership and helping career-parents attain flexible & fulfilling working-lives.

Carole was the former MD of Bright Horizons and prior to that she led Bupa’s entry into the childcare market. Carole has dedicated her career to building businesses which deliver high-quality childcare, early education and work/life services. She led Bright Horizons through several cycles of M & A growth and transformational change, trebling revenue and increasing the geographic footprint to over 200 locations with 6,000 employees. Under Carole’s leadership, Bright Horizons’ was awarded Education Business of the Year in 2013 and reached #7 as a Great Place to Work in 2015.

Carole is a long-term advocate of making the UK more family-friendly, supporting the “Modern Family Index” with Working Families as well as being a member of the Department of Health and Employers for Carers Task & Finish Group which produced the report; Supporting Working Carers: The Benefits to Families, Business & the Economy. As both business leader and career-mum, Carole understands first-hand the need to build a flexible & agile organisational culture and the importance of role modelling the leadership behaviours which enable work/life integration from the boardroom to the people on the front line.

Carole is a school Governor for an independent prep school and former Director of the Charity, the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.


Susanne Jacobs, Associate, Working Families

MBA, Chartered FCIPD, FCMI, Member NLI

Susanne Jacobs

Susanne is a specialist in employee engagement, leadership and the science of optimal performance. Her work draws on over 25 years of strategic business change experience and commercial knowledge working across industry sectors, 19 years of which were with KPMG where Susanne was head of Finance Operations and People. Through her career Susanne has led many major successful people and business change and restructuring programmes both nationally and internationally.

Susanne combines her in depth senior leadership and business experience alongside science and research to deliver practical, sustainable learning, tools and advice. Susanne informs much of her teaching and organisational guidance through applied Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology. Susanne’s work is also underpinned by robust research, the latest of which studied the intrinsic drivers of motivation through to sustainable high performance.

Susanne completed her Masters in International Business with the business schools of Edinburgh University and Paris ENPC and has post graduate certificates in Organisational Development and Advanced Leadership Techniques. She is a chartered fellow of the CIPD and a member of the Neuroleadership institute.

Susanne is both a speaker and writer within her field appearing in journals such as People Management, Strategic HR and IEDP’s Developing Leaders and has a demonstrable successful track record across the public and private sectors. Her work has seen her named as one of the top thought leaders in trust for 2015 and her latest paper, the ‘Neuroscience of Trust’ and her other articles are available on request and through her blog along with her research on intrinsic motivation.


Liz Morris, Associate, Working Families

BSc, MSc, Chartered FCIPD, BGS

Liz Morris picture

Liz is an expert in individual and organisational performance with a global career. Her work to develop strong, emotionally-intelligent leadership, thriving careers and agile organisations is built on more than 20 years of senior business experience and leading-edge research. Liz has delivered successful cultural change and organisational effectiveness programmes, developed teams and coached individuals across multiple industry sectors and jurisdictions.

As an experienced leader and parent, Liz understands first-hand the challenges of balancing one’s own life and leading high performing, flexible teams in a way that sustains balance, energy, well-being and engagement for all team members, as well as, exceed clients’ needs, wants and desires. She combines extensive cross-functional business experience with applied psychology to develop practical, evidence-based advice and teaching that delivers tangible results and builds on-going capability.

In addition to her work as a consultant, Liz also initiated and led a 2-year, prize winning research programme to understand the experiences of line managers and employees during the maternity transition.

Liz holds a Masters with distinction in Human Resource Management and Business from Aston Business School and a Joint Honours degree in Psychology and Management Science. She is a Charter Fellow of the CIPD and accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Liz has a robust track record of delivery in both the public and private sectors working with organisations such as Ernst and Young, Mars Inc, The London School of Economics and Political Science, E-on, The Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, BP and the UK Police. She is a recognised expert within her field appearing in journals and on-line resource such as Personnel Today, XpertHR and Employee Benefits, as well as a wide variety of mainstream media such as the Financial Times and Red Magazine.