Katy went to school in London, studied French and Swedish at Aberdeen University, taught English for a year in Paris, started accountancy training in Newcastle, studied for her postgraduate qualification in Careers Guidance at Napier University in Edinburgh before finally coming to rest in the West of Scotland, which she has made her home for the past 22 years.
Over 25 years in the careers service, she has helped school leavers apply for jobs, college and university courses, helped employers recruit and advised on employment law and helped adults facing redundancy work out their career options. Throughout, she has supported clients to achieve their potential no matter what disadvantages they face, challenging stereotypes & championing equal opportunities.
She has run million pound national projects to help people back into work and help pupils look at college as a credible option. First a European funded national Redundancy Advice Service targeting employers & individuals facing redundancy, which supported 6,000 clients over 3 years, with c80% re-entering employment within 6 months. Second a national Scottish Government funded School College Collaboration Project, encouraging pupils to stay in post school learning, which supported 22,000 clients over 3 years.
As a long-standing UNISON member, she spent several years as senior steward for the service negotiating re-gradings, arguing for fair treatment of employees and jointly presenting UNISON’s submission to the Scottish Parliament on the future of the careers service.
She got into political campaigning when helping Jo Swinson MP win East Dunbartonshire for the Liberal Democrats in 2005. She has run or been involved in several campaigns in the West of Scotland since June 07 to stand up for local people. She campaigned successfully to save Kelvindale & Hyndland Post Offices, she was part of the Lib Dem team that successfully campaigned to prevent a nightclub being sited in the Botanic Gardens and worked alongside parents in Maryhill in the ultimately unsuccessful campaign to prevent their primary schools from being closed by the Labour Council. She fought hard for the residents and businesses of Otago Lane against developers wanting to build unnecessary flats in the West End, twice forcing the developers to withdraw their plans. More recently she has been campaigning to improve the terrible state of the roads in East Dunbartonshire.
She hugely increased the Lib Dem profile and vote share as the Westminster candidate for Glasgow North in 2010 and stood again as the party’s lead candidate for Glasgow Region in the difficult election of 2011.
Katy believes we need more Parliamentarians with recent non-political experience. She has a lifelong commitment to helping people succeed no matter what barriers they face and a strong belief in education as key to this. Her burning sense of injustice is what drives her to stand up for local people who might otherwise struggle to be heard. If elected, she is determined to take her campaigning zeal to Parliament.
Katy has worked closely with Jo Swinson MP in East Dunbartonshire since 2012 and was Jo’s Campaign Manager for 2015. In order to concentrate on campaigning for election in May 2016, she stepped down from 4 years as Vice Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, (one of a team of 7 who run the Scottish Party), Convener of the Campaigns & Candidates Committee (which oversees recruitment and selection of party candidates) and Convener of Scottish Liberal Democrat Women (which works within the party to increase the number of female elected Liberal Democrats and to ensure women have a strong influence on party policy) . She narrowly missed out on securing election in 2016 as lead list candidate for West of Scotland region, which takes in East Dunbartonshire.
In 2012, Katy became Head of the Careers Service for Strathclyde University. In this role, her team prepared graduates for the world of work, supporting them to choose the career path that works for them and working closely with graduate recruiters to meet their needs. In this role, her team’s work proactively contributed to Strathclyde’s leap up the DLHE (Destinations of Leaders from Higher Education) league tables in 2017 to 5th place in Scotland and 21st in the UK.
For the snap general election in 2017, Katy became Campaign Manager again for Jo Swinson, in the successful campaign to regain her seat in East Dunbartonshire. She then took up the role of Associate Director of Careers & Employability at Goldsmiths, University of London and now works during the week to help students navigate the challenging recruitment market in the wake of the Brexit vote.