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New year message

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

To all AXIS Network members

Happy New Year!


We are delighted to be announcing some new appointments in the AXIS Network - our current chair, Jenny Junnier, is stepping down after three years at the helm, into a new role with our events team. We’d like to thank Jenny for her inspirational leadership during her term, and we look forward to seeing her add her energy to our already strong events group! With this, we announce the appointment of our new chair, Karen Blanc.


Please find a new year's message from Jenny, Karen, and also a few words from our sponsor, Deirdre Michie, below. These were originally shared by email to our members on the 7th and 15th January - if you don't currently receive emails from AXIS but would like to, sign up now on the Get Involved page (link above).


Jenny Junnier, retiring chair

“Wow, can it really be 2019 already - 2018 really did seem to fly by so quickly!

Maybe that is because there has been so much going on. In a lot of ways this wasn’t unexpected as we came away from our AGM in January sensing that 2018 was a year of action and focus on D&I. With the gender pay-gap reporting in particular, we saw a significant increase in the number of conversations about the need for greater gender equality, although it was really positive to hear at the OGUK Awards in November how D&I had contributed to many of the award winners’ success. For the AXIS network this focus, and recognition that better balance does make better business, has led to a lot more interest in what we do as a group in Aberdeen, so as well as holding our four events this year, running our mentorship programme and showcasing role models and case studies we have also been working hard behind the scenes to engage with more organisations and individuals locally and across the UK to help take positive action.


For me personally 2018 was a game of two-halves, with the first half juggling various commitments with some serious family health issues and the second half settling in to the task of setting up a new Audit practice in Aberdeen with Grant Thornton. Sadly, it was my last year as AXIS Committee Chair, having undertaken the role for almost 3 years now. However, it is with some excitement that I welcome Karen Blanc into the role. Karen brings with her a wealth of experience and enthusiasm – she is an engineer and Operations Lead for Atkins (winners of OGUK D&I award 2017), a mother of two boys (check out her blogs) and was co-founder of the WISE Aberdeen Hub. Karen has a great passion for the network and some fantastic ideas for make things bigger and better - Look out for more news from Karen in the next couple of weeks.”

Karen Blanc, AXIS Network chair

"Axis Network members and friends,

Happy new year, and thanks for your already very warm welcome to chair of your AXIS Network. I’m delighted to take on this appointment, and can’t wait to share with you the plans our outstanding committee have for this year.


We plan for 2019 to be a year for positive action and change, with a focus on collaboration, member-contribution, sharing of best practise, and transparency. We remain committed to our mentoring and role model initiatives but have plans to go bolder with these in 2019, and we are looking to raise the profile of our events, with big plans for Offshore Europe this year.

To support our commitment on visibility and transparency we will be:


-Publishing and sharing our 2019 charter

-Seeking our member’s input and views – look out for a survey later this month

-Advertising all committee roles and following a transparent election process


2018 saw a few changes in our committee structure, and we welcomed new members James Overton, Denis Pinto, Susan Grayson, Katy Heidenreich, and Katy Hardacre. . They join myself, Elizabeth McAlpine, Jenny Junnier, Julie-Ann Whyte, Susan Gordon and our newly elected Vice Chair, Erica Kinmond to form your committee. We will shortly be advertising for additional committee roles, and as members you will be first to hear about it. If you don’t already receive this mail, sign up via the website, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn too, where we share different content. (Links below!)


We are delighted to have Deirdre Michie continue in her role as AXIS sponsor for 2019, and look forward to building on this relationship. Deirdre has been a great support to us during her term, and a wonderful source of inspiration and ideas. She has sent us a few kind words to mark Jenny’s departure as chair, I’ve shared her message with you below.


Finally, I’d like to close by also offering my thanks to Jenny for 3 excellent years as AXIS Network chair. I’m delighted she is to stay on with us as part of the committee for 2019. You’ve set the bar high Jenny, I hope I can do you proud!


Wishing you all a bright 2019, Karen"


Deirdre Michie, AXIS Network sponsor

"As sponsor of the Axis Network – it has been a real pleasure to work with Jenny. Her commitment to Axis and its aims and objectives have ensured that it has continued to develop and deepen its offering to be a really credible and impressive network that people want to be part of and benefit from! Jenny and the team being recognised by the Women’s Business Council awards 2017 reinforced that Axis is leading the way in terms of the gender agenda!


So my sincere thanks and best wishes to Jenny as she steps down – and a big welcome to Karen. I am very much looking forward to working with Karen and the committee. As I have said – I do believe the window of opportunity is there for us all to embrace in 2019 and I think we can make some significant strides in terms of positioning the industry positively for D&I in general and gender balance in particular and Axis have a key role to take in driving this forward."


Web: axisnetwork.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/axisnetworkaberdeen

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/axis-network-aberdeen

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