FD in Five Minutes: Kate McLeod of Mencap

The chief financial officer at the learning disability charity says it is important to make sure the finance team are engaging with the cause and enjoying themselves

Kate McLeod
Kate McLeod

What was your first job? After leaving school, I spent four months in Israel working on a kibbutz. It was a real eye-opener – working in the fields and in factories, communal living, under the threat of war.

How do you motivate your team? I think the best way to motivate a finance team, who are quite removed from your beneficiaries, is to bring the subject to life and remind them what it's all about – and to make sure they are enjoying themselves.

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in charity finance? It's important to have broad experience – I came to this late in my career, so I would say that, but I think it helps. To have your whole career in the charity sector might be just a bit too narrow.

What do you get up to outside work? I took part in the London Marathon in April, raising money for Mencap. We did a few events such as bake sales and also I asked people for money – I think they thought it was so unlikely that I would run a marathon that it must be worth it.

What has been your proudest achievement? I think it was getting this job and proving that you can take on a big role like this without either being a qualified accountant or having spent years and years steeped in the learning disability world.

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