Fiona Murchie welcomes guests to Gala Awards dinner

The stunning surroundings of London’s Science Museum played host to the Relocate Global’s tenth anniversary Awards ceremony on Thursday 11 May. Managing editor Fiona Murchie welcomed the guests.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the annual Relocate Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.It is wonderful to see you all here tonight at the Science Museum with our biggest turnout ever with guests from around the world – a fitting location in which to bring together the best and the brightest in the relocation sector, who are driving the global mobility agenda.As you know it is the 10th anniversary of the Relocate Awards and global mobility is a young sector but I wanted us to celebrate not by looking back but by looking forward.Didn’t we have a great time during the Networking Reception? ­Well, I certainly did.

Engaging tomorrow’s generations

Our Innovation Ambassadors were just brilliant and special thanks to the National Space Academy, I can certainly appreciate how they fire young people’s imaginations and enthusiasm for STEM subjects – science, maths, technology and engineering – through the inspirational context of space. We really want to find ways to work with them not only hooking up schools to get involved with their workshops and training for teachers, but for employers also to engage with technology and tease out how we can start to get employers and educationalists working together to ensure cutting-edge companies have the talent they need for the future.
Charlotte Avery
We were delighted also to have with us Charlotte Avery, president of the Girls’ Schools Association who was talking about how to support young people so that they flourish in a fast-changing world.Technology is obviously critical in so many areas of business and development across industry sectors. You only have to look at those represented here tonight from oil and gas, to pharmaceuticals, to insurance and the financial sector to realise how technology is changing, not only production and manufacturing but in all of our work places.Companies are already addressing how advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will impact workforces of the future. This in turn impacts the leadership agenda for organisations, and for the HR and the global mobility profession, regarding where you will require you talent to work, what skills they will require, and how you will attract and retain your global talent.As we have been saying across our media for some time, global mobility and the relocation agenda is relevant to all organisations, no matter where they are based, or how large or small.
Michelle McDowell
You will have also noted the emphasis on engineering. We are hugely grateful to Michelle McDowell for attending tonight. Michelle is the Principal and Chair of Civil and Structural Engineering company BDP. In 2010, Michelle was chair of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and received an MBE for services to the construction industry. In 2011, she was awarded a fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering and was named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year. Michelle was ACE’s Engineering Ambassador of the Year in 2012, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women in Construction Awards in 2014.No doubt she has told you about her passion for engineering and design, sustainability and, of course, encouraging young people and, particularly young women, into engineering.I have a particular interest because, as some of you will know, I am married to a civil engineer and we don’t always communicate in the same way.However, I do know from him and, of course from Relocate’s coverage across the sector, how important it is for big projects to work across boundaries, to engage with international teams and to communicate across cultures to ensure the successful delivery of a project against tight deadlines.Diverse teams and a pipeline of young people are of course hugely important, as is overseas experience.
Michael Dickmann
Professor Dickmann of Cranfield University is another of our Ambassadors and has been sharing his knowledge of developments in international human resources management and patterns of mobility for the future. With input from the other ambassadors, we have tried to touch enterprise and an entrepreneurial approach with Professor Gilman of Birmingham City Business School’s contribution.And we could have invited so many more contributors with exciting stories to tell across medicine, the car industry, the arts and the financial sector.It is important in these times of change and against the background of Brexit and other political and economic changes and influences, to remember the important skills you all have that deliver projects on time every day, such as your cultural awareness and communication skills and the way you conduct business across boundaries.Now is the time, more than ever before, to give recognition for those already achieving great things in the global world and share our successes.It is also important to communicate and collaborate across the wider global mobility profession and perhaps introduce some joint leadership initiatives, sharing knowledge and experience.

Promoting diversity and sharing best practice

So let’s use the conversations we have started here today to commit to getting off the ground real projects and perhaps a CSR initiative that will help employers and educators to engage and support the future talent we need for international roles.Let’s join together to help promote diversity in the work place and to do practical things to support future women leaders, for example.Let’s try some different things to get everyone talking and sharing best practice, let’s get some solid research that will scope out the scale of mobility and help fill the skills gaps, and ensure our future talent wants to embrace new opportunities wherever they are in the world.Our mission tonight was to open your eyes to possibilities inspired by space but ground them in reality for the next generations. Help us to chart that path. The sky is literally the limit after what we have heard tonight!And now over to someone who really knows about the cutting-edge technology of the future and has a passion for young people and what they can achieve.Let me introduce you to Maggie Philbin, OBE, our host and guest speaker who has worked in broadcasting for over 30 years in a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes including the recent BBC1 series Bang Goes The Theory and featured in popular shows such as the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Tomorrow’s World.Away from broadcasting, she is president of the Institute of Engineering Designers and co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC. In 2016, Maggie was named most influential Woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly magazine.Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Maggie Philbin.For more news, photographs and videos from the evening, visit our Awards 2017 homepage.

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