Big Interview

Kathy Allison,

Chief People Officer,

In this interview, she sits down with HR Grapevine to talk about establishing yourself as a people-centric business, the importance of strong values, and how an organisation that moves fast chooses who it partners with...

Interview by Kieran Howells

It’s an amazing time to be FitFlop. the company, which has been in business since 2007, is bolstering its workforce and making its presence known in the shoe industry with the opening of a brand new location in the heart of New York City. This means that FitFlop’s Chief People Officer, Kathy Allison, has her hands full, with the leadership of the HR team in a time of growth.

We've got some new and exciting things that have happened recently. Opening a new store in New York, really expanding our products, reaching new consumers; that means that it's an exciting place to work.

Can you tell me how you got into the people function?

I dropped into HR accidentally a long time ago. I studied sociology and social policy at university, and I was working in a role that was more in keeping with that. And then I decided I wanted to change, I saw a job that was advertised for a personnel and training manager in a hotel and Liverpool and applied for it without knowing anything about HR or hotels. Somehow I got it and that's how my career started.

What did you like about it? What sparked your interest and passion?

I think for me, it was the things that I liked. You could learn on the job, and I liked the ability to make an impact to individuals and to the organisation that I was in. Probably when I first started, I was more focused on the people I was dealing with, so less contributing to how a business performs and more about making a difference for the people.


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