Cathy brings a genuine love for coaching to her HR work. She helps managers, leaders, and team members think about conflict and communication issues differently—including their own biases.
Meet Cathy Wade
My name's Catherine Wade. I've been at SEI for two years, and I'm a HR program director. My responsibilities are to manage the learning and development activity within the London office, and I work closely with the US learning leadership and coaching faculty there to ensure that our programs are aligned.
How did you arrive at this point in your career?
So I've had over 20 years experience in HR in various roles ranging right from talent management, employee relations, recruitment, compensation and benefits and mergers and acquisitions. And I've worked in the US, I've worked in Hong Kong, I've worked at extensively across Europe.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
What I'm most passionate about is I love helping managers, leaders, solve problems, to solve their people issues, whatever they might be. Incorporating my coaching into my HR work is an excellent opportunity for me.
How do you coach someone around their own biases?
Well, coaching somebody around their own biases can be quite challenging. And from my own perspective, I think it's really important, if you're a professional coach, that you have a really high level of self-awareness in order to understand your own biases, because I believe that in order to coach somebody else, you need to understand where your biases are coming from. Secondly, I think it's really important when coaching around biases to build a safe space for whoever you're coaching. Once they trust you, that's when you get the opportunity to kind of then start to challenge their thinking, but do it in a safe way.
Why is it important to the future for each of us to identify bias and work around our own biases?
Well, in the future of workplaces, I think we are going to be even more interconnected than what we are across the globe. We're working with colleagues from all over the globe, Asia, the US, Europe, and I think, you know, we need to understand each other, with the internet and with technology. See, the cultural differences are there, you know, you need to be able to embrace that and see it as a positive. And, I think it's really important for us to recognize that our clients are going to be from all over the globe and they're going to expect us to appreciate and respect the difference, the cultural differences.
What inspires you?
Well, I'm inspired by lots of situations and people. On a personal level, I umpire in a local netball league and also coach as part of a community group. The people that go to that community group, that just sign up to learn how to play netball—their life experience is completely different to mine in some instances. And actually, coaching and helping them to play netball inspires me because I see the joy they get from it.
What do you like about working at SEI?
I'm a relative newcomer to SEI. I've been at the company, as I've said, for two years. And what I really like about SEI is the culture. So, what you hear about the culture is true. It's really collaborative, it's a really fun place to work. I love the close relationships that you're able to build with people.