Fiona Evans, HR director, Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Fiona Evans is HRD at ZSL and won HR Director of the Year in 2017 at the HR Excellence Awards as well as scooping the Gold award, Best HR team, and a high commendation in the Best learning and development strategy category

Evans’ team was also shortlisted for the CIPD People Management awards' Best HR team of the year in 2017.

Evans is a non-exec director for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and chair of its remuneration committee and acting chair of the HRD BIAZA Committee (British and Irish Zoos and Aquariums). Evans is a member of various other HR networking groups and is a judge for the HR Excellence Awards. She recently contributed to the new edition of Human Resource Management – second edition edited by Ronan Carberry and Christine Cross.

Evans' vision for HR has always been about organisational transformation in terms of how great HR, OD and employee engagement can transform the workplace and people’s lives. Her evidence-based approach to get the support for improvement has been at the heart of how she operates. Evans has demonstrated over the years that if you bring people with you, and treat everyone with dignity and respect, then you will get the best out of them and ultimately the organisation. Most recently Evan’s achievements in this area include getting ZSL’s gender pay gap down to an amazing 0.1% and having her team lead the Trailblazer group for the first Level 3 Zookeeper & Aquarist Apprenticeship Standard in the UK.

Prior to joining ZSL Evans was HR and marketing director for London’s largest further education college City and Islington (Capital Colleges), where she had a large remit covering HR, OD, marketing and communications. Her team at the college enjoyed public recognition when they won a National Training Award for their management development programme.

Evans' keen interest in bringing HR and communications together was evident in her former role as HR and communications director at charity Adepta, where the need to unify people after multiple TUPE transfers into a new organisation was a hugely interesting communications and engagement challenge.

Evans also had a highly successful career at Asthma UK as executive director of HR and governance, which led to the charity being voted Best Employer by the Learning and Skills Council and one of the Financial Times' 50 Best Workplaces in the UK.

She is a chartered fellow of the CIPD and a fellow of the IES, as well as a qualified business and management coach. Evans has a keen interest in supporting young people in the workplace and is also a qualified youth and community worker.

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