Installation Speech of New Master, Andrea Eccles15/10/2021
The Company of HR Professionals Signs UK Armed Forces Covenant19/04/2023
Can I begin by thanking the Master and Clerk of the Worshipful Company of Butchers for hosting tonight’s event in this beautiful hall.
One upside of the current tight labour market is surely that we have begun to realise just how important some roles are and hopefully affording those in the hospitality industry, as well as others, a greater level of appreciation and respect. Tonight, I am sure you will agree they have it in buckets.
I would also like to thank our gallant Clerk Karen and both Debs and Mary for their work in making this event happen – thank you.
It is a huge honour to be installed as Master of the Company of Human Resource Professionals so my thanks to the Court and Wardens - Stephen, Nicki, and Richard – also, our previous senior warden Aaron Alburey.
Few who have stood in this position will ever be accused of a lack of ego or consumed with humility and before those who know me point it out, doubtless this is one livery tradition I will embrace with gusto!
Further, and this is a note to self as well as the Company, the livery world is not ultimately about individuals or grand titles, but giving back and making a positive difference.
Through the stewardship and leadership of our immediate past Master, Andrea Eccles the Guild achieved the next stage in our journey to be becoming a full Livery – moving from Guild to the Company of Human Resource Professionals.
Our appreciation of all that effort makes necessary the realisation that this new status is both an achievement but also a great responsibility.
Being awarded Company status was achieved through our past Master and the hard work and loyalty of many past Masters, Freemen and members most of whom bear no fancy titles or robes and many of those are in the hall tonight. They give their time through being on the Court, chairing committees, raising funds, mentoring other HR professionals.
We are also enormously appreciative of the support of other Livery companies who supported our petition for company status.
Indulge me here, as I would also like to thank my husband Daniel for his huge support and help to the Company right from the start.
To all those people that the Company relies upon to make things happen – I give you my thanks.
So, now as a Company what are our responsibilities.
It’s supporting the Lord Mayor, City Corporation and Livery – especially in the stated desire to be more inclusive and diverse.
Raising and distributing funds through our charitable trust led by Nikki Squelch.
Supporting Chris Woodman in delivering, through our bono group, to those who need our help.
Supporting new entrants into the HR profession through our apprenticeship programme and mentoring schemes.
Through business focused development programmes, the NLF and NED ably led by our Senior Warden, Stephen Sidebottom.
Crucially ensuring our relevance, currency, and place in the wider City of London and the business, public and third sectors.
We will, amongst a host of other activities in my year as Master, be focusing on the following:
- Widening our categories of membership and Freeman to be more inclusive and diverse.
- Growing the membership.
- Developing greater representation across a wider group of sectors and beyond financial and professional services.
- Making sure that under the leadership of our Middle Warden, Nicki Auret, that our organisational infrastructure and revenue streams are fit for purpose and supporting our sustainable development to achieve Livery status.
- Significantly raising our funds in the Charitable Trust through a campaign to up regular giving culminating with the next installation and our tenth anniversary – much more of that later this year.
So, my year will probably be devoid of the some of the headline excitement of achieving Company status, the Jubilee and then the sadness with the passing of Her Majesty of the last year - but build on past success – your success.
We will only achieve the next stage of Livery through our success at delivering against our objectives.
Livery status is not an end, it reflects our impact and success.
In short this will be about giving back and doing more.
We are a voluntary organisation and entirely dependent upon the generosity of our Freeman, members and friends – people who are hugely generous with their money, expertise and time.
Another note to self – I must step out of my preferred modus operandi for I cannot instruct, I cannot order, but ask you to help us do more.
More help if we want the City of London to be more diverse and successful.
More help If we want to create a business focused and relevant entity within Livery for new entrants into our profession.
More help If we want to strengthen our links with and help young people through the Sea Cadet’s Association as well as closer links with the armed services.
More help to grow our membership and raise funds for the Trust.
Without subscribing to any specific explanation or narrative, it is ironic and a scar that within few miles of the City of London are some of the most deprived areas of the entire country – in the words of one of our past Masters Jacqueline Davies “we can do better than this” - so more help through our Charity and pro bono work if we want to get to those excluded from and ignored by the employment market.
It is a big ask but I am going to do it.
Help us do more.
Thank you and have a safe journey home.
John F Renz