Ann Pickering, HR director, O2 (Telefónica UK)

Ann Pickering joined O2 (Telefónica UK) in 2004 and was appointed to the UK board as HR director in 2008

Prior to this Pickering worked for Marks and Spencer, Fidelity and Xansa (now Steria) and is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Personnel Development.

Since Pickering joined O2 the company has achieved a top 20 place three times in The Sunday Times Top 100 Employers in the UK and eight in the UK Best Places to Work. Over the past two years O2 has been included in the top 25 companies in the Social Mobility Employer Index, which identifies the UK businesses taking the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace.

Pickering is calling upon business, government and educators to work together to ensure there are sufficient digitally-skilled workers to drive the UK economy. She is passionate about social inclusion and promoting career opportunities for all young people in the digital sector.

Outside Telefónica Pickering is a trustee of Breast Cancer Now, a cancer charity formed specifically to focus on accelerating finding a cure for breast cancer. She is also a trustee of Step up to Serve, a charity aimed at promoting social action among 10- to 20-year-olds.

Pickering is visiting professor of HRM at Sheffield University Management School where she also chairs the advisory board.

She is married with two sons, aged 28 and 26 years.

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