Meet Karen, Senior Consultant, Executive Search for BDT Perth

Female smiling posing with arms in an equal position

I have been working in the energy and resources sector since 1999, in both oil & gas and mining and have worked in Executive Search since 2007. I find the elusive candidate; the one-eyed purple people eater with the unusual combination of skills for my clients who have already tried and haven’t succeeded.

I have my Post Graduate qualifications in Human Resources and an MBA majoring in Oil & Gas. I was awarded Master Student of the Year in 2013.

In 2018 I became the WA Representative for Women on Boards (WOB), a national organisation that addresses gender inequity in the boardroom. We provide training and networking events for our members. I run and host events every few weeks and now head up a WOB Committee of three talented individuals helping me organise and run events.

I am a member of Women in Mining WA (WIMWA), Women in Oil & Gas (WIOG), Women in Subsea Engineering (WISE), National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) and Women in Technology WA (WITWA). I regularly attend these networking events where I have built amazing networks and relationships with some outstanding individuals.

This year I became a Committee Member for the Curtin Graduate School of Business Alumni, helping MBA and MBL graduates maintain the networks and relationships they established during their studies, we develop and run networking events.

I was initially with Downing Teal for nearly five years, then helped a UK executive search company start-up in both Perth and Houston, where I lived for three months. I ran my own independent executive search consultancy for 12 months before re-joining Downing Teal in 2017. In 2019 we merged with Beilby and became Beilby Downing Teal.

Challenges; Managing unrealistic client expectations and encouraging clients to think outside the box. It isn’t necessarily the best course of action to find someone for a position which is pretty similar to the person that just left or someone that meets pre-conceived common attributes that a person in ‘this role’ should have. Skills, working environments and candidate expectations are fluid and evolving; companies need to be dynamic in thinking about their attraction and retention strategies.

Any advice for those looking to follow in your footsteps: Build and use your networks, build your profile, become the ‘go-to’ person for something, be known for a speciality or knowledge sector. Ask for help – not many people will refuse and if they can’t help they’ll refer you to someone that can.

Be confident and whatever you’re in a quandary about – go for it, what’s the worst that can happen?

What Karen’s team say about her

Karen is a pleasure to work with, her calm, highly professional manner, allows her to build great relationships both internally and externally.
You know that any assignment she handles will be exceptionally well serviced and will produce excellent outcomes for the client, and they will always come back for more!

Karen is a real role model for diversity and inclusion. She is extremely active within her networks, volunteering so much of her time, educating and empowering other women to achieve greatness. She inspires us all to do more.

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