Shirley Cooper, Executive Director for WE Connect: Conference interview (back to videos)

Shirley Cooper, Executive Director for WE Connect: Conference interview

One of our Hey Big Spenders Panel: Shirley is a successful leader with extensive financial, commercial and operational experience gained in a variety of organisations in both the private and public sector. Shirley was recently appointed executive director for WE Connect International, with responsibility for Europe.

Previously, a director with services and solutions provider, Computacenter for 12 years with a remit that included leading the divisions for procurement of goods and services for resale, supply chain services, technical configuration of products for customers, quality division and the procurement of goods and services of own use. Her team comprised of 350 staff. Shirley and her team won awards for cultural and behavioural change as well as for best practice in procurement and use of technology. Before joining Computacenter Shirley held a number of senior financial positions at Yorkshire Water, Leeds Hospitals and Allied Domecq.

Having qualified as an accountant she went to gain an MBA from Bradford University and is now a fellow of not only CIMA but also CIPS and CILT. Shirley career focuses on leadership, team development and cultural change, using the technologies available to promote efficiencies.

In 2005 Shirley was invited to join the board of management and council for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Shirley was appointed chairman of the board in 2008 and president in 2010, only the third female to hold this office since it was formed 80 years ago. She is the longest serving judge for the Supply Management Awards. Shirley is co-founder and president of Blueprint Club, with 250 members, supporting women in procurement.

In addition to her financial qualifications, she is a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Forum UK, an invitation-only network that honours the top 200 women in the UK. Shirley maintains a diverse range of interests that include human rights, travelling, cycling, and opera as well as spending time with friends and family.

Shirley has recently been appointed Commercial Director for Tapestry, a virtual global law firm specialising in global HR with a network of 140 law firms around the world and the Head Office in Yorkshire.

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