“In an industry that is built so heavily on relationships and connections, we need to help leaders maintain authenticity and the trust of their audiences – especially when so much that is happening right now is uncharted and unsettling.”

Welcome to #UCVoices, a series that shines a light on our vibrant network of clients and collaborators and the amazing things they are doing in our industry.

Katy Scrivener, Head of HSBC Alumni
Katy Scrivener, Head of HSBC Alumni

Meet Katy Scrivener, Head of HSBC Alumni. Along with leading the bank’s Alumni engagement programme, Katy is also currently responsible for HSBC’s global Diversity and Inclusion employee campaigns. 

With a varied career that has taken her from Retail and Commercial Banking to Government Relations and Global Communications, Katy thrives on making new connections and inspiring others.

You have been with HSBC for over 19 years, what attracts you to a brand and keeps you there for so long?

One of my earliest work memories was a training course in my first few weeks at the bank.

We were a mix of new joiners and longer serving staff. During introductions, someone said they’d been at the bank five years and I distinctly remember thinking that five years seemed like an eternity. I know now that five years is the blink of an eye.

Looking back, I think what has kept me in one company for so long is the availability of new opportunities. I’ve been on the frontline as a banker and behind the scenes as a communications professional. I’ve been a project manager and a people leader. My work has taken me to different countries and even 10 Downing Street.

And along the way, I got to meet and work with great people both inside and outside the company.

What are the biggest challenges facing communications and engagement leaders in financial services over the next 6 – 12 months?

Leaders in our industry are not alone in needing to adjust to a new normal and part of that will be establishing new types of connections with clients and other stakeholders, not least of all their own teams. Not in terms of channels (though that is another challenge that keeps us on our toes!) but in terms of human, emotional connection. The way we do business and where we work is so different than a year ago. In an industry that is built so heavily on relationships and connections, we need to help leaders maintain authenticity and the trust of their audiences – especially when so much that is happening right now is uncharted and unsettling.

Where do you go to for inspiration? 

I find inspiration in the stories of people’s lived experiences. They motivate me to learn new things, to confront uncomfortable truths and to get better. I’m lucky that in my line of work I get to help share some of those stories to inspire others. 

At the moment, I’m heavily involved in an inclusion campaign featuring the experiences of ethnic minority colleagues around the world. It’s been amazing to see people feel more confident about opening up and others’ determination to listen, learn and act.

What’s your passion outside of work? 

My family and my home.

The past few years, that has been first and foremost, looking after and having fun with our young daughter. But I’m also passionate about turning houses into homes. We transformed our own home throughout the 2010s and last year moved on to a listed property located closer to friends and family. We’re preparing to do lots of exciting work to it despite Covid-19 restrictions slowing us down a bit. On the bright side, it’s been great having some additional home time to get to know the property and hone our ideas. Certainly, better than commuting on the train!

What gets your vote: home working or office working? 

Both. I hope the new normal will be a fairly evenly split between the two and that time in the office will feel even more dynamic and collaborative than in the past because everyone will be so aware of how special it is to be back among colleagues in person.