By Emma Clayton
4 December 2021
The first in a new series, CIPD Manchester’s Membership Engagement Lead, Emma Clayton, sat down virtually with Anwen Bottois, to learn all about her HR career and views on CIPD Membership.
Catching the HR bug early on
Anwen’s HR career has spanned multiple sectors and roles since she was first captivated by the world of HR during her A-levels and subsequent Business Degree. HR stood out during her studies and really piqued her interest, particularly the idea of building connections with others. Given her warm personality and ability to put people at ease, it’s no surprise that HR was her calling!
After uni, as many of us do, she began as an HR Administrator, which she describes as ‘no bad place to start’. The role really helped her to understand the dynamics of an HR team and what HR was all about beyond the classroom theory.
Her career has taken her through various generalist roles, but her first HR Business Partner (HRBP) role sparked her love for Organisational Development (OD), culture change, and leadership. And it’s these areas that drive what she now offers as a freelancer through Purple Sky Consulting.
Anwen’s membership journey
From her first HR Admin role to becoming Associate Director of People Strategy at Salford University to establishing her own company, Anwen has always held CIPD membership. Although she completed her Level 7, her focus was always on upgrading. She achieved Chartered Member status in May 2019 and then became a Chartered Fellow in July 2021
Anwen spoke about how having Chartered status sets you apart as an HR professional. Although she could probably have gone straight to Fellow, she wanted to go through the different membership stages. Anwen felt that achieving Chartered Member status first was an excellent way to progress while gaining more experience and making sure she could soundly demonstrate she was working at a Fellow level.
All about learning and networks
We spoke a lot about her favourite membership benefits, namely the access to learning events and networks. Anwen said
‘CIPD drew me to people and helped me
create a valuable network‘
She found this was particularly important early on in her career as it gave her access to other HR colleagues outside of her organisation. She’s still connected to many of them 20 years later.
She also spent some time volunteering with the Merseyside and North Cheshire Branch (Chester). She found her involvement with the committee a hugely positive learning and networking experience. From my own experience, I’d second the benefits that come from connecting with your local branch!
The Big Picture
Many members question the value of their CIPD membership, and some feel the only benefit they get is People Management magazine. To these Members, Anwen advises: ‘Remember the big picture.’ By this, she means that your membership may not always feel valuable in the moment, but it is overall.
Anwen cites accreditation, validation, and ongoing learning as her top three reasons to stay in membership. While staying connected to the profession and keeping abreast of general research is essential, the opportunities are only there if you choose to engage with them. Anwen stressed that members have to take personal responsibility to ensure they get value from their membership. She compared it to having a gym membership in that ‘you’ll get out of it what you put in. If you don’t engage with the offer, then you won’t benefit.’
I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Anwen and thank her once again for her time.
If you’d like to feature in a future member spotlight article like this one, please get in touch with Emma Clayton via LinkedIn or another CIPD Manchester committee member and let us know you’re interested!
I work as an HR Administrator for Mobica, a global software services company, supporting the HR team and our employees based in the UK, the US and Germany. Since becoming Membership Engagement Lead earlier this year, I’ve been enjoying running events and working behind the scenes to further our offering for members and the local HR community, including launching the HR Book Club.