As the world celebrates International Women’s Day it’s fitting to shine a light on our Managing Director, Nicola Callaghan; a remarkable HR professional and Managing Director who founded HR Caddy in 2005.  19 years later our HR Consultancy firm is going from strength to strength and to this day have a team that is predominantly female. 

Men have historically populated the world of business.  In the past, even industries that you’d assume are female-dominated such as HR, more often than not have been headed by men.  Even though it’s not quite the case anymore, female business leadership used to be quite a rarity; rewind even twenty years ago and the comparison to today is quite significant.  Nicola told us ‘Females are lucky in HR as it’s largely an industry dominated by women and it’s a profession that sees us driving equity in the boardroom.  But in other professions I still see a power struggle’.

Our feature bellow illustrates Nicola’s success in starting her own business, proving gender has been no setback!

Where did it all start?

Never planning to go into HR, Nicola competed her degree in Business Management at Leeds Metropolitan University.  Starting her career at Centrica (British Gas) working in a large call centre in a team of specialist debt advisors gave her great experience developing her skills for communication and management and engaging with people often dealing with difficult situations. From here, Nicola gained a promotion to the Learning and Development Team and from there her career in HR started!

Moving into Financial Services Nicola joined Barnsley, and later Derbyshire, Building Societies as a Learning and Development specialist before developing into senior HR, People & Culture leadership roles.

What happened next?

Nicola set up HR Caddy in 2005, where she initially gained a number of NHS clients and HR projects.  This was closely followed by adding several small, local businesses to her list of clients and from there gained a passion for helping the small business.

Nicola said, “working with small businesses allows me to stay directly involved in addressing workforce challenges, delivering problem-solving solutions while at the heart of it all, building close-knit, collaborative relationships with my clients and fellow business owners”.

How’s it all going?

Today, Nicola continues in her role as Managing Director of HR Caddy Ltd, very much still hands-on and passionate about our service offerings, our customers and our brand.  Nicola tells us ‘As much as I like to ensure a more sustainable work life balance these days, all of our customers are important to me, and I work with my fantastic team to ensure we still deliver straight-talking, commercially focused HR advice’.

Throughout her business journey Nicola’s gender has thankfully not bought any setbacks for her. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist; over 8.2 million employees in the UK in 2023 felt like they were discriminated against because of their gender.

Gender inclusivity and misogyny have drastically improved over the years but it’s not perfect.  This International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate how far we’ve come and recognise how far we have got to go.

A significant step forward is to educate yourself and educate your staff.  For information on training courses dedicated to this subject call HR Caddy today.