This International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate by speaking to women who work at Registers of Scotland – from solicitors, to GIS analysts, to customer service professionals our organisation has a wealth of talent, and we want to tell you about it! Meet Fiona…
My name is Fiona McKie and I was recently appointed as Head of Land Register Completion which in essence means my teams and I are focussed on completing the land register by 2024 – but that’s not the only role that I have here at RoS.
I am also Senior Responsible Officer for a large project focussed on transforming our office spaces into modern, thriving and exciting work environments through embedding the principles of smart working and creating spaces that support our teams to continue to do the great work that they do every day.
‘My career journey has been one with a few interesting twists and turns’
My career journey has been one with a few interesting twists and turns – and that’s not just the fact that I have had more than one role in RoS since I joined in February 2016.
I graduated with a degree in Marketing from University of Strathclyde and started off almost immediately in Health Promotion for NHS Ayrshire and Arran. My particular focus was using social marketing to help young people stop smoking back in 2006 when the smoking ban first came into force in Scotland.
I moved on from there to be the Communications Manager for a health related research organisation called the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. After gaining my MBA from University of Glasgow, I then took up a role within Engagement and Legacy for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
‘I work with some really great and inspiring people’
Post Glasgow 2014 I took on a role at the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate supporting agencies to understand and plan their digital transformation strategies before joining RoS in 2016 as Head of Stakeholder Engagement.
I’ve held several roles here since then including taking on the role of Head of Innovation in May 2017 before being successful in achieving a promotion to Head of Land Register Completion in January this year.
As well as working at RoS I also continue to be involved with the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, by mentoring MBA students and supporting Masters students from different management disciplines to complete their dissertations.
I work with some really great and inspiring people. For me, that is my favourite thing about working at RoS. I wouldn’t love my job half as much if I didn’t have that.
‘A job that I will remember and treasure forever’
I don’t think in my career that I have a specific achievement that has stood out more than the rest. I think in each role that I’ve had, I’ve achieved some exciting things. Overall though, I think being given the responsibility to lead the teams focussed on completing the land register, with such a clear target for us to reach, is something that I am rising to the challenge of.
I want to make sure that not only do we achieve this vision but that we do it in a way that helps everyone involved achieve personal career goals, to feel a shared sense of accomplishment and to enjoy each step of this journey.
If I did have to pick another highlight, however, I did love being part of the Commonwealth Games – I’m a Glasgow girl and was so proud to have been part of what was an epic sporting and cultural event that put my beloved city firmly in the spotlight across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. A job that I will remember and treasure forever.
I have to also take this chance to mention that alongside my career I am also mum to a wonderful five year old boy called Finlay. We talk a lot about what mummy does when he is at school every day and that usually leads to the inevitable discussion of what he wants to be when he grows up.
From telling an audience at his nursery graduation that he wanted to be a fairy because ‘they can do magic’ (you can’t deny his logic and ambition) to daily mind changes of being a builder, a teacher, a dentist, a pilot and so on, one thing that makes me stop and think is when he says ‘I want to be like you mummy and do emails’.
So I am taking time to teach him about aspirations, dreams and hard work and I tell him the story I have just told you about the roles I have had. Relating it to the many experiences I have gotten from each part of my journey is the best way that I can do that as, ultimately, I want to be an inspiration to him.
‘Inspire others to do well and surround yourself with positivity not negativity.’
There are a few things that I wish that I had realised earlier in my career: Take time to be in the moment. Listen more. Reflect more. Don’t be afraid to say when you got it wrong. Inspire others to do well and surround yourself with positivity not negativity. Don’t judge others before you know them. And be kind to yourself.
I am hyper aware of the imbalances that exist in our world (not just in relation to gender). I’ve been on the receiving end of gender inequality in most aspects of my life. I use these experiences and awareness to try to do things every day in such a way as to not exacerbate the bad stuff but promote the good.
‘We can all learn something from other people’
Sometimes inequality can come from subconscious bias learned over a long time or from inaction on the part of a bystander so if I see it happening I call it out and challenge the behaviour. I feel lucky to be in the role that I am in and want to share and support others (whomever they are) to achieve their goals. Being a mentor to a number of people, both inside and outside of RoS, is one way that allows me to do that.
There are people that I look up to and who inspire me of all genders and walks of life and I truly believe that we can all learn something from others. I hope that one day we learn to see past the false boxes that we put each other in and judge ourselves on our merits, and not any other defining factors.