Eoin Canty is a Research Director within BIE’s finance team and a qualified accountant (CIMA). We caught up with Eoin to learn more about his passion for diversity and inclusion, breaking the ice at his first BIE interview and his usual Christmas day tradition!

What’s your philosophy in life and work?

Enjoy what you do and do it well.

What’s your greatest source of job satisfaction?

Being a trusted advisor to candidates as they navigate potential career changes.

What’s the secret of your career success?

In the world of executive search, it’s being able to use my finance background to put myself in a candidate’s shoes to understand where they are coming from and their career ambitions. During my most recent finance roles with Kingfisher, I always enjoyed the people aspects of my roles, building teams and forging productive working relationships with the international businesses within the group. This got me thinking of how I could use those skills in a different way, bringing the people aspects to the fore while not completely forgetting the finance parts. A high EQ was essential here, coupled with an ability to network, and this now stands me in good stead working on senior finance searches in the UK and internationally. 

What have you learnt along the way?

Be curious – there’s no such thing as a bad question.

What are your career highlights or ‘defining moments’?

Moving from the world of finance into executive search – don’t be afraid of change.

What makes you tick - as a person and in your career?

Integrity – being myself.

Describe your professional style

Engaging, collaborative and enthusiastic.

What do you feel most passionately about at work?

When I was asked to take on the additional responsibility of Diversity & Inclusion lead for our business I jumped at the opportunity as inclusion in its broadest sense is something I feel strongly about. As an openly gay man, I believe that it’s important to be able to bring your entire self to work and it was clear from my first interview at BIE that this was going to be an environment where that was encouraged. I arrived on that day with a bag full of colourful and glittery costumes as I was en route to a concert singing with the London Gay Men’s Chorus that evening, so that was definitely a topic for discussion in the interview.

D&I at BIE is something we believe in for ourselves and not just something we have to talk about because others are. D&I covers many protected characteristics and we as a team are always as keen as our clients to learn more. That’s been borne out by recent webinars we have hosted on topics such as allyship, ethnicity and creating a trans inclusive workplace. I’m really looking forward to our next webinar on the 3rd of March where we will discuss social mobility with speakers bringing their perspectives from a corporate, charity and lived perspective. Social mobility, although not a protected characteristic, has the potential to touch on them and through tackling those characteristics has the potential to result in improved social mobility.

What top tip would you give to people looking to move up in their career?

In addition to continuing your professional development on courses which may be specific to your area of expertise, I would advise people to devote time to building and nurturing strong relationships. Make the effort to get to know your boss and other senior leaders in your business. Also, think of those outside the organisation who it could be useful to maintain a relationship with, such as former managers, colleagues and peer networks. Think about these people when you are looking for advice on a career change or how to make the next move as most people are delighted to give advice if they can at all.

How would you sum up the BIE culture?

Inclusive of people from different backgrounds bringing diversity of thought.

Name one thing on your bucket list

To visit Patagonia.

What was your first car?

A Peugeot 106 with sporty red seats.

What's your favourite family tradition?

A bracing swim in the Atlantic on Christmas Day!

What fictional world or place would you like to visit and why?

Planet Krypton – maybe I’d get some of Superman’s powers.

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?

To play the piano.

Do you like pineapple on a pizza – yes or no?

Yes. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality so don’t be so hard on it!

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