Mark McLane, Master
Installation Speech of New Master, Mark McLane
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Installation Speech of New Master, Danielle Harmer

Danielle Harmer

I am very excited to be here and thank you for joining us.

Being part of the HR Guild is a chance for me and for us all to give back to the wonderful profession which I love… and I am also a big Harry Potter fan… so the capes are a bonus.  And while there is no Sorting Cap we do have a Loving Cup ceremony coming your way.

First let me make a few introductions.  If I could ask the Court members to stand so that you all know who we are and can ask us any questions you may have.  Our clerk – John Renz – is effectively our Chief Executive and does all of the work. Our past Masters are Robert Potter, Jacqueline Davis and Mark McLane who handed his robes over to me this evening.  

Guilds and Liveries have this whole succession planning thing nailed.  Paul is our senior warden and is likely to be elected as Master in a year and Annette is our middle warden and will become senior warden as Paul moves to master and so on.  And not a nine box grid in sight!  You will have noticed that as fourth master I am also the second female Master so we are running at 50% on gender diversity both with past and future Masters.

We are missing a junior warden and we will ask members for nominations as part of our drive to improve transparency in the Guild and so that everyone knows how to get involved. And yes, self-nominations are totally acceptable too!

People sometimes ask me why they should join the Guild and it’s important to remember the Guild is about promoting our profession and giving back to it.  So we are looking for people who are at the stage in their career where they are pretty influential in the HR profession and have the time and resources available to promote the profession and help great people to join the profession.  We also focus on charitable activities that support humanity at work and the City of London Corporation.

So I have a call to action for us all:
If you aren’t a member please join.  Whoever invited you as their guest probably did so because they think you are a great potential member. If you are a member please become an advocate and find at least two new members to join every year. And if you are already an advocate why not get involved with the Court and some of our committees and charitable activities.

This year we launched our Future Leaders Programme which has involved a lot of hard work from many court members and also the faculty giving their time pro bono.  The programme is aimed at developing the Chief People Officers and HR Directors of tomorrow and the first cohort are here with us today so let’s welcome them to the dinner and the programme.

Finally I owe many thanks to many of the people in this room including my wonderful team at Metro Bank.  And there are four people specifically that I need to thank because I wouldn’t be standing here now without them.  Although who do you thank first between your previous boss, husband, previous boss and Lord Mayor Elect?  So let me say thank you to Max Vialou Clark who took a chance on me and gave me my first job in HR 15 years ago and is a reminder to us all to take a chance on people and support talent.  My husband and partner in crime of 21 years, George.  My current boss Craig Donaldson for giving me such a fantastic job at Metro Bank.  And our sponsoring Alderman and Lord Mayor Elect Peter Estlin who helped make the Guild a reality.

Please do enjoy your evening and make some new friends!

Thank you.

Danielle Harmer