THIS week’s High Flyer is Kate Laverty, chief executive officer at Community Evaluation Northern Ireland
What was your first job?
I was a retail assistant in BonMarche.
What qualifications do you have?
I have always enjoyed learning and hope never to stop. After attaining first class honours in Byzantine History, I completed five master’s degree programmes in computer science, youth work, business management, adult education and history before engaging in PhD research in the experiences of LGBT students in Northern Irish secondary schools.
What do you attribute your success to?
The support of my family; they inspired, and pushed me to be more.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
A passionate socialist with a love of good conversation.
Who do you look up to in business?
– My father; he ran his own businesses in his life time and spoke of the need to understand that people, not profit, was your bottom line. Help make them feel better about themselves and you’ve added more than money to the economy.
– My nephew Jack who reminds me that no one on their death bed ever wished they’d spent more time at the office.
– My partner Gabriel, whose courage in setting up in his own business amidst a myriad of change in our lives inspires me to be equally courageous.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I try to ensure they ‘own’ the charity as much as I do. That means they get the same perks I do; flexible working, home working, trust that they are doing their best; there’s a lot to be said for being kind in a world where we can be anything.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
I’d reduce the silos between the public, private and community sector to ensure we’re working together to maximize the overall well being of our population.
What website or app could you not do without?
Castbox; I love listening to podcasts.
What was the last book you read?
Powerful; Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord.
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I love hill walking and dandering the South Down coast near Kilclief where I live. Also, I scrapbook little mini albums to give as gifts; I’d rather give a handmade gift than an expensive one.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
People; I want to create a passionate humanity in this turbulent world through conversation and creativity.