Deborah McKenzie


Deborah McKenzie, Chief People Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant

My passion is people, in particular considering how organisations can support each and every person to reach their potential and do their best work.

I’ve had the great good fortune to work in the private sector and the public sector. My early career was spent in Consumer Packaged Goods companies, followed by a stint as a Management Consultant at Accenture. When our first son was born I had a year’s maternity leave and then returned to work part time. Sadly this was in the days before flexible working and I quickly decided to take a career break.

I took 5 years out to look after our two boys, returning when they were both at primary school. During those years I did voluntary work; became a non Executive Director; and worked as an Associate for a number of independent businesses so that I could maintain my skills whilst also keeping my work days to a manageable level as I was keen that most of my time was spent with the boys.

When I re-entered the workplace I made a conscious choice to find a role in the public sector, both because it offered the flexibility I needed and because I wanted to make a more direct difference to people’s lives.

As a Chief People Officer my role covers every aspect of the life cycle of an employee, from recruitment through career development to transitioning out of the organisation when the time comes. Creating an environment in which people feel included and can thrive is my primary focus.

I have been supported by many people throughout my career and am committed to doing whatever I can to help others in return. I coach and mentor a range of people from different backgrounds and different age groups and this helps keep me grounded and continually learning.

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