Leader in the spotlight: Qudsia Karim

Leader in the spotlight: Qudsia Karim

We interview the newly-appointed Head of Consulting at Impact UK

Qudsia brings 20 years strategic, global HR experience of working with C Suite, MD & Director levels across a range of different sectors.  Qudsia excels at creating innovative and forward-thinking people strategies, that deliver a competitive advantage for the organisation.

Qudsia is passionate about authentic leadership, sustainability and the value diversity brings to the workplace. Qudsia strives to be a positive role model especially for Muslim females.

CV in brief:

Group Talent & Leadership Director, MAG (Airports Group), (2015 - 2016)
Lead Strategic Global HR Business Partner, Victrex (2011 - 2015)
HR Director, NHS (2009 - 2011)
Senior HR Business Partner, BT (2006 - 2008)
Management Development, Alpha LSG & Harrods (1997 – 2000)
Graduate Trainee – HR Program, London Underground
Post Grad in Exec/Business Coaching
MA. HR Strategy
BA Hons Economics

A bit of background

Q: Tell us more about your career so far and what brought you to Impact?
I hope the CV speaks for itself! My career has been focused in HR with organisations that have had to transform as a result of competitive market conditions.   

Being bold enough to trust my intuition brought me to Impact. It is by chance I bumped into Impact, an organisation that shares my values and ambitions. I then experienced the Impact talent and thought, “wow I want to be part of that”…so you could say it’s destiny.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
If I take into consideration the consistent feedback I have been given over the years, it has always been around inspiring, challenging and empowering…no different to what I seek and value in others.  I get quite a buzz when I see others achieve their dreams and aspirations, especially if I have had a part to play in enabling that success. 

Q: How do you encourage people to take control and responsibility?
A number of ways…by being as authentic as I can be, role modelling taking control and responsibility and creating a high support, high challenge environment, where people are inspired to do just that. 

Career path

Q: What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
There have been so many, however, the stand out one for me was rebuilding a team which got known for being great, resulting in many of the team moving on to even better jobs when I left.

Q: What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
Laugh more, stop being a control freak and relax, young lady…oh and don't fret about the student debt!

Q: What advice would you give to women in business who still face inequality in the workplace?
It saddens me that this is still an issue in 2017. Be bold, be strong and be you.

A day in the life

Q: What skills are essential for your role?
The ability to truly listen to many different stakeholders.

Q: What's the last book you read that had a strong impact on you?
And the Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

Q: What are your go-to websites and apps?
Harvard Business Review, Independent & Guardian.

Apps – BBC Iplayer, YouTube and I can’t believe I am saying this but Facebook for the Meow quizzes as they make me giggle!