Catherine Ward, group director of HR, Interserve
Catherine Ward’s career has covered strategic HR leadership, transformation, and communications, in roles in the public, private and private equity sectors, and as a consultant.
She is currently the group HR director for Interserve, one of the world’s foremost support services companies, with annual gross revenues of £3.6bn, 85,000 employees - 55,000 in UK, 30,000 internationally. It is one of the UK’s top 20 largest private sector employers.
Ward created the role of group HR director during the lead in to an 18-month period of extensive acquisition in the UK and overseas, when the group expanded by 50%. She is a member of the executive board and sits on the risk committee, SustainAbilities board, Innovation board and IS Security board. She has led the transformation of the HR agenda, developing the group HR strategy, and defining direction in areas including culture change, leadership, early career talent, and diversity and inclusion. Interserve is the largest company to have achieved accreditation under the National Equality Standard. She is the senior functional leader for around 250 HR professionals, based across the UK and internationally.
Before joining Interserve, Ward was group people and communications director at BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest private hospital group with 73 hospitals, developing HR capability in anticipation of IPO. Before that she held senior HR roles at BAA, the BBC, Sotheby’s and Aviva. She has worked as an HR and change management consultant with KPMG and SHL Group, and has run her own consultancy business supporting organisation change post mergers and acquisitions.
Ward has a BSc in biology, MSc in organisation behaviour, and postgraduate qualifications both in HR and executive coaching. She regularly speaks at conferences in the UK and Europe on leadership development and culture change. She is a governor of the Place, the UK's leading centre for contemporary dance performance and education. She was recently listed in a 'FTSE 100 Women to Watch’ list.