Karen’s career journey has taken her from joining HLM Architects as an apprentice aged 17 to being appointed MD in 2017, and has been fuelled by commitment and passion to enable and support everyone within the business to grow and flourish.
Karen’s aim for her presidential term is to focus on helping the Chamber unlock the untapped potential in Sheffield’s communities. Her ambition is to make it easier for younger people in Sheffield to follow their dreams by finding the job or starting the business that changes their life.
Karen is a regular contributor to national media and broadcasts on the subject of equity and inclusion. She has been shortlisted in Building Magazine’s Women of the Year awards, and featured in the Women in Real Estate List. Most recently, in 2021 she was awarded two Director of the Year Awards by the IOD for the ‘Small to Medium Business’ and ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ categories. Karen is part of the Trailblazer Group which developed two Architectural Apprenticeship Standards providing a long-awaited, more diverse route of entry to the profession, and through a variety of social mobility initiatives is keen to open up architecture to more people. She is also part of the Royal Institute of British Architects Future Leaders Steering Group.
She has dedicated her career to developing an empowered workplace which resulted in HLM Architects being placed in the Top 100 Best Companies to Work for List and their move to the inclusive structure of an Employee Ownership Trust in 2020. This was a natural step in realising an energising and inspiring environment, giving employees a sense of ownership, say in their direction, and rewarding everyone for the part they play in the future success of the organisation.
Connect With Me