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The Christchurch Business Club announces new President, recruiter Katie Foote

By Katie Foote

As a recruiter, as a business manager and as an employer I’ve always been a “best fit” type of thinker. Like many who started their careers with a cold desk, a list of names and a naive optimism; I worked with who I could and I did what I was asked.

My clients were predominately male, straight shooters with a no fuss, no fluff approach. Counselling them on gender equality or even the benefits of a broader perspective to hiring were not topics that at the time this 22-year-old was going anywhere near!

That was a pre GFC 2007 environment and one that of course looked quite different to today. I was an ambitious young recruiter, a glass ceiling sceptic with, if I am honest, an “anything’s possible” innocence.

I am still fundamentally a “best fit” thinker and an “anything’s possible” person it’s just that I now recognise the value that gender diversity brings to organisations, the positive and productive role women can play in leadership and enjoy partnering with clients who appreciate this and are also looking to the future rather than the past.

The Christchurch Business Club is an example of a superb organisation with a very proud past but an exciting and resolute desire to look to the future.

It was established in 1931 when a handful of businessmen got together to discuss the topics of the day and support each other through the challenging times of what turned out to be the Great Depression. The CBC flourished as an environment to foster mutually beneficial professional relationships and get business done in a friendly and social environment. Formally known as the Businessman’s Club it has a reputation for fabulous events hosting some of the most well respected and entertaining speakers in the country.

Having been appointed the first ever female president in its near 90-year history, it is both an honour and a great privilege. The Boys Club feel isn’t completely gone though and in fact we love keeping some of the old traditions alive, it’s what made this organisation different and what made it special.

This is a place that doesn’t want to lose who it is, but at the same time is determined to ensure it remains an important and effective player in the region’s business community for another 90 years.

As President I am looking forward to championing these values and, while acknowledging what has gone before, my tenure will certainly have a modern, fresh and dare I say “Female” feel to it.

Christchurch is a city with a reputation for influential and innovative business leaders and many of New Zealand’s most inspiring business women call Canterbury home. I have been humbled by the support and encouragement I have received from many of them. I now need to prove to them, our members and the business community that they made a great choice and I am indeed the “best fit”.

It’s going to be a fantastic challenge.

Katie Foote is an Associate Director and Christchurch Manager for Graham Consulting. While leading the team she also specialises in the recruitment of Management & Executive appointments for clients across the South Island. As well as CE, GM and Branch based management roles her key areas include Sales, Marketing, Operations, Accounting & Finance and supporting Executive teams with search assignments and company specific critical hires

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