Home EmployersBest Practice Awards Meet the judging panel

Meet the judging panel

Meet the judging panel for the 2018 awards:

Sarah Jackson – Chair

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, 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, endorsed by the CBI, TUC and the Scottish Government.

In 2007 Sarah was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Quality of Life Issues. She is a Trustee of the charity Classics for All and a Fellow of the RSA.


Deirdre AndersonDeirdre Anderson

Deirdre is Head of Department: People and Organizations in Lincoln International Business School and a Director of the Eleanor Glanville Centre, an interdisciplinary centre linking diversity mandates and initiatives with research and scholarly activities across the University of Lincoln.  Her research interests include flexibility and work-life integration, inclusion and diversity, gendered careers, and work and family (especially in different cultures).  Deirdre frequently presents her research at academic and practitioner conferences within the UK and internationally and publishes in journals of recognized international excellence. She has recently edited a book “Work-life balance in times of recession, austerity and beyond”.  Prior to academia, Deirdre spent over 20 years working within organizations and then as an independent business psychology consultant and trainer in the private sector.


Jane Drysdale

Jane Drysdale has been Director of Human Resources at Brunel University London – a leading multidisciplinary research-intensive technology university – since late 2014.  She joined Brunel after a varied career in HR within the private sector.  Having gained a STEM degree, Jane left the sciences early and started her HR career on the Marks and Spencer graduate programme where she worked in stores and head office as an HR business partner and then specialised in employee and executive compensation and benefits.

Jane pursued a career in reward for many years, working both as a consultant with Aon Consulting and as an ‘in-house’ practitioner with TNS, a global market research business where she was worked internationally at a time where growth was through acquisition.   There her career changed trajectory to encompass Leadership and Talent Development where, inspired by a London Business School pilot programme and working with great external partners, she introduced a global talent programme that focused on adaptability and learning agility as the key drivers for success.

In 2007 Jane set up her own consulting business and worked as an interim and consultant in Telecommunications, Real Estate Fund Finance, Professional Education and the Senior Private Care Sector.

Prior to joining Brunel, Jane was the first female director at OCS Group UK, a family outsourcing solutions business.  In all her roles, she has enjoyed building and developing teams that can drive performance through real engagement.  When her two daughters were young, Jane worked part time for 15 years to facilitate work life balance and she remains a strong ambassador for flexible working patterns and measurement of output.

Since 2008, Jane has been an active member of Pilotlight, a charity that offers tailored strategic planning support to charities and social enterprises that are tackling disadvantage in the UK (www.pilotlight.org.uk) and since 2013 has been a member of the Employment and Skills Board at the CBI (www.cbi.org.uk).


Jenny Roper

Jenny Roper is editor of HR magazine, the leading publication for people-focused, forward-thinking business leaders. She joined the magazine in March 2015, progressing to editor in May 2017. Jenny has worked for a range of business titles, including as features editor on PrintWeek magazine and deputy editor on Airlines International and deputy editor on sports and fitness trade title S&PA Professional.

Jenny was last year awarded highly commended in the Talent and HR Technology categories of Willis Towers Watson’s Media Awards. She has an MA in magazine journalism from London’s City University, and has been shortlisted in the past for PPA’s New Talent ‘Most Promising Student Journalist’ award, and for PPA New Talent ‘Best New Business Features Writer’.

Areas of particular interest include diversity and inclusion, culture, leadership and the psychology behind motivation and engagement.