What was your first job?
From the age of 13 I had a paper round. I grew up in a very rural community in Somerset, the round involved cycling up some big hills to remote farms – a great start to the day! I then took on a sales job in a Bridal Boutique – I loved this – lots of tulle and talking.
What was your first job in financial services?
I fell into finance at the University Milk Round, having studied History– and was offered a training contract with Price Waterhouse – frankly I wasn’t sure what I had signed up for – but serendipity played a part and I quickly realised that the fit was good!
When did you first know you were in the right job?
I am naturally inquisitive, I was fascinated by all the many businesses I visited, I loved learning about what they did and the people in those businesses – ideal for an auditor and invaluable experience in the job I do today.
Who is the business/City of London figure you most admire and why?
Can I have two? Sheridan Ash (Technology and Innovation Leader, PwC UK) and Claire Thorne (Venture Partner, Deep Science Ventures). Sheridan and Claire are Co-CEOs of Tech She Can, a charity working together with industry, government, and schools to improve the ratio of women in technology roles.
What’s one thing you love about the City of London… and one thing you would change?
There is a vibrancy in the City that isn’t seen anywhere else. The blend of old and new is a powerful reminder of our roots. However, when you walk along Cheapside at lunchtime the lack of diversity is painfully apparent. In the most creative and diverse place in the world, we are not seeing diversity in The City. I’m one of a relatively small number of female CEOs in the executive search industry.
As a business community we must change how we identify our future leaders, the pace of change in shifting the diversity dial is painfully slow. We all should be challenging convention to drive change. It’s a non-negotiable for me.
What’s been your proudest achievement?
Personally, having taken 10 years out of the formal workplace whilst my girls were little – to find myself running a dynamic, successful forward-looking organisation is pretty awesome! Now I am working with a very talented team to drive change in a very traditional industry. Technology allied with open minded leaders is how we will do this. AI has negative associations at the moment, but it is my belief that when we integrate AI responsibly and deliberately, we enhance the result, with valuable input from brilliant human minds it is a powerful force for good.
What’s your most memorable interview?
I will never forget the interview with John Ellis, former CEO of Savannah Group. John’s warmth and genuine interest in people are unforgettable.
We’re going for lunch and you’re picking – where are we going?
Aqua Shard is one of my favourites… shows off the wonderful City Skyline – a treat.
And do you have a favourite post-work watering hole?
Where.s Fred.s – a lockdown phoenix – excellent service and a super atmosphere at any time of the day or night. We love to support our local.
Are you optimistic for the rest of 2023?
Absolutely! The environment is always changing, but with that comes opportunity. Bold ideas backed with innovation and integrity will succeed. I am convinced that H2 2023 will see an exciting turnaround.
Give us one bold prediction for the City this year?
H2 2023 will see unexpected confidence and growth; and diverse senior hires will stop being headline news – as they become expected.
Where’s home during the week?
I live with my family in Tunbridge Wells
And where would we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
In my garden, or driving my daughter to a golf match.
You’ve a well-deserved two weeks off – where are you going, and who with?
Holidays are a real motivator for me. Last year we spent three weeks exploring Western Canada – amazing memories for us and our girls. So, another exploring trip would be on my list.
Original article: https://www.cityam.com/square-mile-and-me-katrina-cheverton-talks-paper-rounds-city-life-and-the-push-for-more-diversity/