Movers and Shakers in Workplace Wellbeing

Male hand holds a wooden cube with arrow icon between the options of old way or new way. Deciding to do things in a traditional or a modern fashionable way

Our Movers and Shakers articles highlight who’s moving up, out or across in the rapidly evolving world of workplace wellbeing. There have been many significant moves already in 2022. Here are a few that have grabbed my attention.

All change

Wellbeing is one of many sectors that is seeing a shake-up – with familiar faces changing roles, deciding to go it alone or retiring. It will be interesting to see who steps up to fill the gaps.

One of those who has stepped out of his corporate shoes is the wonderful Richard Heron, who after 16 years as VP Health and Chief Medical Officer with BP, is now an independent Chief Health Officer and Consultant on work and health. Richard’s successor is Marleece Estella, who has become BP’s Senior Vice President Global Health and Wellbeing.

Nick Davison has also left his 10 year role as Head of Wellbeing with John Lewis Partnership to become a freelance health and wellbeing strategist. Meanwhile, Stephanie Fitzgerald, formerly working with Rolls Royce as their Senior Business Partner – Mental Health, is writing another soon to be published book and has founded health and wellbeing consultancy Soyo Ltd.

We also spotted that Sally Evans has retired from her role as Senior Manager Wellbeing with PwC and Tricia O’Neill has retired from her role as UK Head of Health Risk Management with construction company Skanska. Sally and Tricia, we wish you both well in your retirement.

You can read more about Sally’s great work here and Tricia’s great work here. You can also hear Richard Heron sharing his insights in this Make A Difference webinar.

Mind the gap

The inspirational Paul Farmer has announced that, after 16 years at the helm of mental health charity Mind, he will be moving on in October to join Age UK as their Chief Executive. Writing on LinkedIn, Paul explained that whilst it will be a huge wrench to leave an organisation that he cares deeply about, he is a firm believer that there are times when a change of leader is important.

Paul won’t be leaving mental health entirely of course. As well as the devastating impact of dementia, one of the major challenges facing older people is isolation and loneliness.

Recognising that we have made some progress, but there is still much to do to ensure that everybody with a mental health problem gets both the support and respect they deserve, Paul will continue to be a massive supporter of the work Mind does and a passionate advocate for better mental health.

If you, or someone you know, would like to become Paul’s successor, the closing date for applications is 22nd July 2022 and you can find full details about the role and how to apply here.

Switching track

In March, the eloquent and erudite Dr Richard Peters switched from Chief Wellbeing and Medical Officer with Network Rail to become Medical Director EMEA with multinational investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs. We hope you are settling in well Richard.

Richard is also Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at University College London.

Post haste

Fiona McAslan, who is currently Wellbeing Lead at NatWest Group, will be leaving the bank at the end of September. She’ll be starting a new role as Head of Health and Wellbeing for Royal Mail in early October.

Join our growing network of employers
Receive Make A Difference News straight to your inbox

Fiona has been working in wellbeing with NatWest Group since 2011. In that time she’s been a driving force behind forward-thinking initiatives, overseeing NatWest Group’s wellbeing strategy and global COVID-19 wellbeing response. This includes supporting all of their colleagues and the rolling out of Mental Health champions.

You can read more about Fiona’s work at NatWest Group in this case study interview for Make A Difference Media.

Meanwhile, author, visionary leader and member of Make A Difference Advisory Board Dr Shaun Davis, moved on earlier this year from Royal Mail Group. Shaun has joined Belron International as their Group Director of Safety, Heath and Wellbeing, where I’m sure he is applying the same infectious, positive energy and clarity of thinking that he brings to everything that he does.

Hot property

Last but certainly not least, Hayley Farrell has moved from leading facilities management company EMCOR UK, to take on the role of Global Wellbeing and Resilience Manager at global design, engineering and management consulting company Arcadis.

Starting with EMCOR as Recruitment Officer back in 2016, Hayley rose to become their Wellbeing Manager. In this role she worked closely with Jonathan Gawthrop, Executive Director, Wellbeing, Sustainability and Assurance and was instrumental in EMCOR becoming the first UK company to adopt the new ISO 45003 Standard for Psychological Health and Safety at Work.

You can find out more from Hayley in person as she’ll be appearing as a speaker at the 5th annual MAD World Summit – joining other rising stars for the panel session: “Who needs a Chief Wellbeing Officer? Your career in workplace mental health and wellbeing”.

Unlike some professions, there is as yet no set path into workplace wellbeing. Our panel have all come to their roles from different places; occupational health, HR, Health & Safety, Sustainability. They’ll share their personal experiences, identify best practice approaches to professional development and debate who is best placed to drive this agenda within organisations?

We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, we’ll be watching out for other movers and shakers in the world of workplace wellbeing and commenting with interest.

About the author

Claire Farrow is the Global Head of Content for Make A Difference Media, the MAD World Summit and The Watercooler. Claire is on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation. She has been freelance (by choice) for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times




Sign up to receive Make A Difference's fortnightly round up of features, news, reports, case studies, practical tools and more for employers who want to make a difference to work culture, mental health and wellbeing.