Athena Swan Chain Reaction Interview 4: When Liddy met Catherine

a photograph of liddy goyder and catherine grinold 

Liddy Goyder interviewing Catherine Grinold

Liddy: What does your work at ScHARR entail?

Catherine: I am the Section Manager in the Section of Public Health which consists of approximately 95 staff (including honorary and secondees). I work closely with the Section Director and Section Senior Management Team to develop an effective administrative infrastructure which meets the diverse needs of a large and complex academic section which is involved in teaching, research and consultancy activities.

My work can vary dramatically from one day to the next which can be challenging but also enjoyable. I have overall responsibility in the Section for HR issues, Fixed Term Contract Monitoring, health and wellbeing, SRDS reviews, line management, financial planning and estates management. In addition, I represent the Section and contribute to the development of School-wide policies through membership of a number of ScHARR Committees and Working Groups, including the Faculty Reward and Recognition Group.

Liddy: How did you get here?

Catherine: I left School in 1983 and without any real idea of what I wanted to do for a career, I enrolled on a post A-level one year secretarial course at college. From there I worked in a Building Society, then for the South Yorkshire Police before joining Sheffield University in 1995. I worked in Undergraduate Admissions and then Human Resources before coming to the Section of Public Health in 1998 where I have worked ever since.

Liddy: What are you proud of?

Catherine: Overcoming my fear of figures (having taken 3 attempts to pass O level Maths) and now having responsibility for managing budgets within the Section and devising ways of ensuring the Section achieves its financial targets. During my time working for South Yorkshire Police being asked to research and write a Briefing Paper for the Chief Constable on the links between juvenile crime and homelessness. Outside of work, singing in a choir and standing in front of a large audience in the City Hall.

Liddy: What do you like about working in ScHARR?

Catherine: The way everyone supports each other across the School – I found this to be particularly so when I was unexpectedly off work on long term sick last year. I also like the fact that, regardless of what job you do, all staff are given the opportunity to sit on working groups and feed into new initiatives such as Working Better Together.

Do you have any tips on how to maintain a good “work-life” balance?

Catherine: As I learnt last year, life is for living so it’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself. I sing in a choir and also attend a Pilates class as well as spending quality time with family and friends.