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How Did I Get Here continued…Laraine Levin, QA


Laraine Levin

Head of HR Laraine Levin talks value-added HR and why musicals can be a great motivator.

9. What are the key issues preventing HR professionals from getting a seat on the board?
Working at the highest levels is about being in touch with the business as a whole. You need to be speaking in business-focused language and making a valuable contribution that helps people do their jobs, rather than putting up barriers. HR needs to be represented on the board if HR professionals are going to make the impact and add the value that they should be.

I believe if the board members have respect for you as a professional your input will be sought, which over time will turn into a regular presence; whether you were initially intended to be part of the board or not.

10. If you have a mantra/motto what is it?
I am often heard saying to my team…”have you double checked that”…. or “do you understand why you’ve been asked to do that?” as I think that accuracy and understanding are vital to building a strong HR function.

11. What are you currently reading?
Practical Parenting magazine is a must at the moment – not only does it provide me with good tips for being a working mother, but it’s also given me good advice for making sure our HR policies support all the parents within the business.

12. What would be your desert island disc?
The soundtrack to the musical Fame. I like to start my day with something upbeat that gets me motivated and driven for my day ahead. It helps me switch from being a mother into work mode; it’s great for starting my day with a sing-a-long and I come in to the office in a really good mood!

13. If you could have lunch with three famous people, dead or alive who would they be and why?

  • Madonna – She is confident, driven and an excellent example of a successful, working mother. She has really stood the test of time and is clearly very disciplined and ambitious.
  • Gordon Ramsey – He’s made a success of his chosen career and isn’t afraid to be himself. He expects people to work hard and do their best, but rewards their performance when they do.
  • Linda McCartney – The things she achieved are a real inspiration and I enjoy much of her food!
  • 14. If you’d like to be remembered for one thing what is it?
    I’d like to be remembered for being an inspiration to my daughter. A key part of that is being seen to be successful working mother, adding value and making a positive change to people’s working lives.

    Previous career profiles can be seen on the How Did I Get Here? page.

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