Emma Durkin reveals more about her big move to the UK

A career opportunity and family have motivated chief people officer Emma Durkin to join a UK-based company.

Newly appointed UBDS chief people officer Emma Durkin says she is sad about leaving South Africa, but excited to be joining a growing, “ambitious” IT consulting company.

“I have mixed feelings. I am sad to be leaving South Africa – I love the country and its people. It has been my home for many years and is where I chose to raise my daughter. I am excited to be rising to a new challenge, and hopefully making a difference in another company,” says Emma.

She says a number of factors influenced her decision to leave South Africa, including her family that now lives in the UK, and her daughter, who has decided to move to the country to study law.

In her new role as the chief people officer at UBDS, Emma’s responsibility is to define, build and scale the company’s people strategy. “I have been tasked with scaling up and structuring a best-of-class people organisation to help UBDS reach their ambitious growth objectives while shaping a strong inclusive culture and building processes across the entire people function,” Emma explains.

She has 25 years’ experience in people focused roles, and has worked in London, Dubai and South Africa.

“For the past 12 years I have been head of people/head of human capital for an IT consulting company, most recently Altron Karabina. I established the people management role in these companies, a differentiator in the industry with a more modern and relevant approach to the traditional human capital offering.”

Some of the highlights of her career include conceptualising, developing and implementing the people management function at Karabina.

“We developed a high touch approach to people management which has done more than just become a differentiator but has provided a blueprint for building an engaged workforce,” Emma says. “I was privileged to grow and work alongside a world class group of people professionals in Altron Karabina.”