A few months ago at a Business Continuity Network event in London, in a room full of experienced BC professionals, all males, I met my first lady inspiration, we talked all things BC related, shared some BC notes/frustrations in the only way women know how...over coffee! As someone who is always looking to inspire and be inspired it was great to see another female who had the wealth of experience I aspire to therefore, it is only fair that now everyone else gets to meet her too. It is my delight, after a long time, to introduce a very exclusive female inspired 60 second interview with...
📷After a grammar school education, Katherine studied hotel management for three years followed by a varied career in hotels and hospitality establishments in the UK and abroad. Katherine moved to a city corporate law firm in 2000 in Client Services, then took a new Business Continuity role in 2009.
Katherine managed the BCMS to BS25999 followed by ISO22301 certification in Feb 2013 and is a member of the BCI. She enjoys the arts and sings in a City choir.
To connect with Katherine click here. What was your first job?
I worked in a bank before studying hotel management followed by a traineeship at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly. It was a 1920s building with an Art Deco ballroom and a grand piano in every suite. The guests ranged from Marlon Brando to Lou Reed. The telephone number (40 years ago!) was Piccadilly 6321.
Who's influenced your career most (and why)?
School friend Joanna taught me that it's no good being shy. If you want something, go for it. If you don't ask, you'll never get! French teacher Mrs Moore showed me that you can communicate without a foreign tongue by using tone of voice, gestures and body language. Ballet teacher taught me discipline, ie. turn up early (if you're not early you're late!), wear correct clothing, start promptly and keep to time. Practice and work hard.
What does Business Continuity mean to you?
Business continuity has always been important to me. I'm the one who checks the fire exits in a hotel, has a full tank of petrol, carries safety pins, plasters and aspirin… It means having pre-thought-out strategies to deal with unplanned interruptions. Ask yourself "what if?", and always have a plan B!
What was the most memorable Business Continuity situation you were involved in? What did you do?
A 12-hour power cut in a hotel I was managing. We turned it into a romantic themed evening and brought out the candelabras. The guests thought it was great and had no idea what we were going through.
What's the best piece of advice you could give someone?
Preparation is the key to successful meetings/exercises. Don't skimp on the planning stage.
What's your all-time favourite book (and why)?
It changes all the time, but currently it's The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz. A wonderful account of daily Egyptian family life which brings back memories of my time managing a private residential estate in Heliopolis.