"Business is not as meritocratic as it should be"

5 Mins With… Aveva's chief people officer Caoimhe Keogan. The FTSE 100 director explains why treating people with respect in difficult times is the key to good leadership.

by Orianna Rosa Royle
Caoimhe Keogan

Leading the global HR department of a FTSE 100 firm is no easy feat - let alone, during a pandemic. HR leaders have had to skillfully manage expectations, communicate changes and help staff feel upbeat during difficult times. So this week, as she celebrates her one-year anniversary as chief people officer at industrial software company Aveva, MT catches up with Caoimhe Keogan.

Before joining Aveva, Keogan held the same title at Moneysupermarket. Prior to that, she spent six years in senior HR roles at Google from 2007 - during its period of rapid growth.  

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? 

Always assume good intent. Sometimes it can be hard to step back from a knee-jerk emotional response and ask why a person might have said or did what they did, but it's always worth the effort. I have found it has helped me develop more empathy and is an important technique for resolving conflict in the workplace.

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