Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CDAO Community

Gillian Tomlinson

Group Chief Data & Digital Officer


Gillian Tomlinson is the Group Chief Data & Digital Officer at Weir. Within this role, Gillian has accountability for the group data and digital strategy and transformation, as well as enterprise data and digital platforms and services.

Learn more about the UK & Ireland CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role. 

I started off my career in the Credit Bureau Industry with TransUnion/Dun and Bradstreet and never looked back. The field of Data & Information management has been constantly evolving and each day over the course of my career has presented different challenges and opportunities. 

I have been fortunate to grow as a leader within the industry globally, having led the establishment of data/digital-related organisations, programmes and transformation across the UK, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Over the course of my various roles, I have led organisations on data monetisation, innovation, and digital transformation. Ultimately, I joined the WEIR Group two years ago with a dual remit – holding accountability for the group data and digital strategy and transformation, and enterprise data and digital platforms and services.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

For me, empowering others and leading with empathy are critical to nurture talent and foster a great performing team.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?

My CDAO role includes digital strategy and transformation, and therefore requires me to monitor disruption and work with our organisation to mitigate risks and embrace opportunities. For example, generative AI is a game changer, and I am leading a programme to ensure we maximise the value it can offer our organisation and customers.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?

Your ability to influence and communicate to a broad range of stakeholders is critical to getting the job done. Embrace the opportunities that present themselves both internally and externally – tapping into relationships with vendors, partners, conferences, etc. – to keep your skills finely tuned.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself. 

  1. I am South African.
  2. I am a very passionate sports fan. 
  3. I love to travel and have spent a lot of time in various countries where I always make an effort to taste the local cuisine!

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

Networking and engaging with a professional community is key to supporting knowledge sharing and development in today’s world where digital and data are changing so rapidly.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CDAOs, for CDAOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CDAO community.