Chief People Officer
Charlotte Eaton is the Chief People Officer at OVO since April 2020.
Learn more about leaders in the UK & Ireland CHRO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I was originally destined to be a lawyer, but at the age of 21, I did an unexpected pivot into the world of what then was known as ‘Human Resources’ (now People) and quickly found my calling. Why? We spend on average 84,365 hours in a lifetime at work. You’ve got to make it count, and I wanted to do something I loved - something in which I could find purpose. And, connecting with and within communities in different spaces to make a difference is something I’ve always enjoyed.
My early years were about learning the fundamentals - how to hire, develop, engage and retain, but my recent years - beginning at Arm and now OVO - have been the most defining in growing my passion for building progressive, purpose-led organisations.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
No ivory towers or airs and graces. Everyone should have an equal voice.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CHRO going in the next 1-2 years?
Currently, competition for critical capabilities in the tech, data and product space is a real challenge, and this will continue. Defining an inclusive, differentiated experience is essential for competitive advantage, and I believe purpose will play a central role in this. Organisations that consider their ESG credentials and bring it to life through their people proposition(s) are more likely to retain the best talent and also secure greater investment.
As part of this competitive talent market, we’ll also have to reimagine careers, look at new ways of reskilling the existing talent in our communities and consider different paths to acquiring capabilities beyond traditional hiring. We’ll have to get more creative around how we get stuff done brilliantly.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CHRO?
Never be afraid to speak what is on your mind and uphold the values you hold dear. Challenge - respectfully and thoughtfully.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I went to the North Pole in my mid 20s on foot as part of a Polar Race. It was extraordinary!
- I live in a bilingual family. Everyone else speaks brilliant French, mine is constantly improving.
- Maybe not ‘fun’ but I have two small kiddies, so life is nothing but eventful.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
Sharing practical experiences and similar challenges. It’s been a total joy being among such brilliant people who stretch my thinking to the next level.
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