Our next staff spotlight episode welcomes Programme Director, Emma Du Parcq. Emma was born in Harlow and grew up in Newmarket as the eldest of three siblings. Emma was an active teenager. Ballet, stage productions, drawing and painting were some of her favourite things to do. Emma at first wanted to become an artist when she grew up but decided to study economics after impressive grades during her earlier education.
After graduating from Reading University, Emma has not stood still for long. She has moved house 21 times over the years, albeit mainly for work purposes. This includes Nottingham, Cheshire, Buckinghamshire, Portsmouth, Bognor Regis, Chichester, where Emma’s two sons were born, and a small rural Cambridgeshire village near Royston, where she lives today with her husband Russ and their working retriever, Bea.
Emma’s youngest son and stepdaughter live at home so, as Emma says, the fridge must be well-stocked! Emma also has two stepsons living in Florida and the highlight of her year was getting all of the family together for her wedding in February.
Ever since Emma’s first job in a shoe shop at the age of 14, she has been fascinated by what makes workplaces great places to work – or not. Emma told us, “I’ve learnt a lot from brilliant bosses and colleagues and even more from the ones at the other end of the scale!” Emma’s career began as a Chartered Management Accountant, “this was a great way to understand the commercial aspects of running a business.” One of Emma’s proudest achievements was when she produced the first financial case for the Boots Advantage Card, one of the first loyalty card schemes in the UK.
Emma’s journey then saw her join IBM. She explains, “I’ve been fortunate to have many exciting moments spanning an eleven-year career at IBM, and a decade working in Higher Education.” Some of Emma’s highlights during this time were speaking about the future of logistics education to a 500-strong conference in Poland, getting lost in the backstreets of Bucharest and meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace, as part of the University of Cambridge team running The Queens Young Leadership Award for young entrepreneurs across The Commonwealth.
Over the years, other fun and creative stuff that Emma has done for work includes style and confidence coaching for women, hand-making curtains for aristocracy and career advice for business and law students. In 2019, Emma opened a gluten-free coffee shop in her local town.
Emma’s thirst for personal development has been a constant feature, qualifying as a business and executive coach but more recently to teach and assess higher education. Emma’s biggest influences over the last few years have been Simon Sinek, Greg McKeown, Dr Amy Edmondson and Prof Brené Brown, who have all researched the impact of vulnerability and psychological safety on organisational culture and performance.
One of Emma’s favourite quotes that she likes to use from Sinek is, ‘I want to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired to go to work, to feel safe when they are there and to return home feeling fulfilled by the work they do.‘ Emma explained, “That pretty much sums it up for me, and I’d add, and have enough energy left to do fun stuff with my friends and family.”
Emma joined the Roffey Park family in March 2023 as Programme Director. Emma works with clients and participants on our open and tailored programmes in management and leadership, with a special interest in organisation design and development, leading change and transformation. She told us, “I’ve known of Roffey Park for many years. I have worked in the past with colleagues who have had amazing learning experiences with Roffey Park. When I found out from a friend that Roffey Park was recruiting, I rushed to apply and my journey so far, one month in, has been a happy and inspiring one.”
When Emma is not working she is practising yoga or reading interesting OD articles on LinkedIn. Where possible, Emma loves to be near the sea, rivers, mountains or forests. Russ, who works for the Environment Agency protecting our rivers, shares Emma’s love of the wilderness, and they travel whenever they can. They are also avid wild campers. During the lockdown, Emma and Russ took ‘Margot’ the Motorhome on several trips around the UK. “Here are some recent photos of our honeymoon in Finnish Lapland, last year in the Swiss Alps and Wales (can you spot which is which?) and wine tasting in Sicily on my special milestone birthday.” Eventually, Emma and Russ would love to settle and find a home in the Scottish Hebrides, their favourite part of the world.
We are delighted to have welcomed Emma into the Roffey Park team. Her expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm are ever-present and she has already added great value to Roffey Park. Emma told us, “I’m proud to be part of this institution which has such an impact on a variety of workplaces, helping them to be great places to work, serve their communities well and achieve what they set out to do, brilliantly.”Tags: Company News, Staff, Team
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