• The Centre for Inclusive Leadership


Claire took some time out of her schedule to talk to us about female leaders in the workplace.

What are 3 things that best describe you?

Tenacious, fun and loyal

What is the biggest misconception about you?

That my work persona is my home persona

What did you want to be when you were growing up and why?

My Mum kept a book where she recorded on an annual basis key information about my sister and I whilst growing up. This included what we wanted to be when we grew up. Not sure what you conclude from my entries but it included teacher, nun, police officer and actress!

Who has massively influenced you on your journey?

From a young age being surrounded by people who never being told I couldn’t do anything because I was a female – it gave me a sense of self belief. And in my working life fantastic sponsors (most of whom have been men) who took a risk on me, spotted my potential and gave me the opportunities that enabled me to shine.

How did you do get to where you are in your career?

A strong sense of public service, a great work ethic, never saying no to a new opportunity and the wonderfully talented people who work with me.

In what ways have you seen women make great change in work?

The women that I have seen deliver great change are the ones that have done so by being their authentic self – it was less about what they changed but how they changed and the legacy they left as a result.

What is the best way to get more women into senior roles?

By creating greater flexibility for all (so as many men as women want and feel they can work flexibly), by only promoting leaders who are genuinely inclusive (being attentive to other’s needs, open minded and empathetic) and by those in the most influential positions – listening and responding to the concerns and needs of women – taking action not just using their words.

What things have you learned as a result of COVID?

We are all more resilient and adaptive than we think, organisations can rapidly change when they really want to or have to, greater flexibility and trust unlocks a more productive and engaged workforce.

What do you do to unwind?

Pilates, Netflix and being a very proud Auntie to a vivacious and funny seven-year-old girl.

If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be and why?

Climate change, we cannot leave the next generation in a world that is so bent out of shape we see more of what we have seen in the last year.

Part of our choose to challenge mission is to dispel the myth that women are threatened by each other and can’t /don’t support one another – can you talk to an experience when a woman helped you?

There is the wonderful Madeline Albright quote “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”. I have endless examples of when influential women, all pioneers themselves, both inside and outside of policing have helped and inspired me. They have allowed me to be myself and taught me never take no for answer and never close the door behind me to other women. But it’s the women who I have had the privilege to lead who are the ones that have helped me the most – with grace and humour they have told me when I am getting it right and when I am getting it wrong, they have encouraged me to go further and faster than I thought was possible, and they have stuck with me on my worst days and celebrated with me on my best days. They remind me every day that you can’t and wouldn’t want to succeed on your own.

Clare Davies – Director of HR

Clare joined the Metropolitan Police Service in May 2013 as Deputy Director of HR prior to becoming the Director of HR in January 2015.

Before coming to London, Clare worked in Surrey Police as the Director of Corporate Services where she led Finance, HR, ICT and Shared Business Services.

Clare has spent her career working in policing, originally in operational support roles before moving into HR and then in Corporate Development and Strategic Change. She has been at the forefront of leading transformation in back office functions, and workforce modernisation.

Clare is the national lead for workforce reform, developing innovative programmes to modernise the people agenda across the police service. She was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017 for services to policing

Outside the Met, Clare has been a Trustee for the Police Now Social Enterprise and is currently an Ambassador for Girl Guides UK. She has also previously been the Chair for the Rushmoor Citizens Advice Bureau Trustee Board.

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