"True HR influence, to me, means how us as a network of HR leaders really come together to share great ideas, influence each other, and really work together as a community," said Austin, group HRD of Wincanton and former HR director at Costain.
She went on to say that the political situation over the past couple of years has been a "minefield" for HR, but that it also creates opportunities to add more value.
Watch the full video interview here:
Also attending the event was Kate Guthrie, group HR director at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. Guthrie was ranked HR magazine's third Most Influential Practitioner of 2019.
"The way I build my influence is understanding my business first and foremost, and knowing how it works, how it makes money, what the strategic issues are, and then thinking through very carefully: what are the people responses? What are the responses we need to make on the people agenda that are going to help the business meet its strategic goals," she said.
Hear more of her thoughts about the world of work here:
Government chief people officer Rupert McNeil topped the list of HR Most Influential Practitioners. McNeil was recognised for “exerting soft influence” while remaining “incredibly innovative" within the organisation, said HR magazine editor Jenny Roper.
“[This is] an HRD who is undeniably, of all UK HR practitioners, the most at the centre of and affected by Brexit uncertainty, and who epitomises the need for HRDs to exert a steady stabilising influence through tough times,” she said at the event.
Martin Tiplady, CEO of Chameleon People Solutions and one of the panellists helping to compile the practitioner rankings each year, accepted the award on McNeil's behalf.
Find the full HR Most Influential Practitioner and Thinker lists, as well as sector lists, a hall of fame, upcoming HR talent, and HRDs pursuing portfolio or non-HR positions of influence on our dedicated HRMI microsite.