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Introducing Suzie Fairley, Leadership & Talent Senior Consultant in Not for Profit

Suzie spent the first 10 years of her career working within Not-for-Profit organisations delivering talent, learning and organisation development initiatives. She latterly moved into consulting, where she worked within Deloitte’s leadership practice. Here she supported public sector organisations to build their leadership capability through high quality assessment and development practices.
At GatenbySanderson, she leads on our profiling work including delivering in-depth individual leadership assessments to inform recruitment decisions. She also works with clients in areas such as high potential identification, leadership development, 360° feedback and coaching.
What brought you to GS?

This role was the perfect combination of allowing me to bring the 10 years of working within Not-for-Profit organisations and my experience specialising in leadership assessment and development as an occupational psychologist. It felt like a great opportunity to put both my psychology and leadership skills into practice with Not-for-Profit clients, as well as other public sector clients.

The agile working environment is very important; the opportunity to work from home and the ability to be flexible during the working day is very attractive. I’m a working mum with two small children so it makes life more manageable.

I feel like I’ve landed just where I want to be for my career now.

What does your role bring to the organisation and the clients we work with?

My past experiences have included in-house leadership development and organisation development roles, as part of wider HR teams, followed by a role as a consultant supporting public sector clients with a range of talent issues.

I am looking forward to working alongside my executive search colleagues, across all the sectors, to identify the best ways to support our campaigns through psychometric profiling of candidates; finding ways to offer greater insight to interview panels.

I will also be providing an additional layer of support to the Not-for-Profit practice, helping to determine what the priorities are for leadership profiling, as well as the wider leadership and talent issues in the sector.

What do you think are the priorities for Not-for-Profit leaders?

Not-for-Profit leaders are increasingly expected to be able to have a commercial mindset, as well as the social mindset that was more traditional for charitable organisations. There’s more scrutiny and a need to demonstrate how funds are used, so it’s so important to be able to bring that dual mindset.

Inclusion and diversity are an important focus for all organisations and Not-for-Profit organisations have a need to represent the breadth of people accessing their services.  I think it is really critical to have that connection to service users, understanding how to listen, to empathise, and to keep communications open.

One of the really positive things about GS is that we have our own leadership framework that’s aligned entirely with the public and Not-for-Profit sectors.  I think that’s unique and particularly appealing to clients because it speaks to them about what’s important in leadership.   One of the competencies in our leadership framework is having a social heart with a commercial head, which really captures what is important from non-profit leadership.

What are your motivations for working in the Not-for-Profit sector?

Not-for-Profit organisations can make a real impact on a whole range of communities.  I lived and worked overseas on a number of occasions, with a highlight being a year living and working as a VSO volunteer in Laos supporting a local non-profit organisation to develop their strategy and build employee capability.

I am passionate about making a difference, particularly for causes with less overarching governmental support and less funding and focus, but that are still so highly important.

I am also passionate about the power of voluntary workforces: seeing what impact large numbers of volunteers can have in a range of different ways, like when I worked for the British Red Cross, it was inspiring to see how many volunteers came forward in response to the Grenfell disaster.  It is amazing what volunteers can do. My own experience of volunteering is that it is personally enriching as you also learn from the communities that you are working within.

If you’d like to speak to Suzie about your leadership assessment and development needs in Not-for-Profit, get in touch at or on Linkedin.


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