Karen Moorhouse MCIPS, City of London Corporation
Karen Moorhouse MCIPS, City of London Corporation winner of the CIPS Young Professional of the Year 2018 talks about how important it is to her to have her achievements recognised and how it has reflected on procurement within her organisation.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced as a women in business to date?
There has been a perception in the past that there is a gender divide in what we can procure, I struggled in the early days of my career to get roles that would be buying what could be perceived as more traditionally male dominated categories such as firearms and vehicles. I am pleased to see there has been a shift in this over the years and categories have become much more inclusive.
What difficulties do women still face in business?
Many of the challenges I face are not just from being a woman in business but being a young woman in business. There is this constant need to prove you can do your job well despite your age and gender.
Who has inspired you?
My current Commercial Director. He doesn’t recognise age, gender or any other personal characteristic, he recognises drive and determination to work hard and get the job done. He has been there himself working his way up the chain and he is constantly inspiring others to do the same.
What is your biggest achievement to date at work?
Without a doubt winning the CIPS Young professional of the year award. It is something I would have never imagined when I started in Procurement 8 years ago.
What do you love about this profession that keeps you going when times are hard?
The diversity. There is such a range of experiences and roles we can do from different categories to working in different parts of the procurement lifecycle. Every project allows me to learn something new.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out and/or what advice would you give your younger self
I wish I realised when I was younger that something not going the way you intended isn’t a failure, it is an opportunity to learn. I often used to be quite hard on myself for making mistakes or not thinking of something sooner but I have realised whoever you are these things happen and its what you do with that experience that makes the difference.
What regular habits do you accredit to your success?
Always ask questions. I believe much of my success has been taking the time to understand what else is going on that could affect procurement. That includes putting yourself in your stakeholders and suppliers shoes. If you ask, you learn.
What are the character traits of successful women and/or what do you think makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who is inspiring and motivational. They are in the position to open doors and it is your job to walk through them and take opportunities.
What’s your favourite film?
Sister Act – whenever I watch it I get a smile on my face and I start joining in with the songs.