The art of balancing is the secret of Karen’s success
Karen was born and brought up in Glasgow and moved to the North West in 1989. She joined Grant Thornton in 1994, becoming a partner in 1997 when her daughters were aged 5 and 8. She later went on to have become Head of Tax for the North West practice in 2010 by which time she had added a son to her family, born in 2004.
2019 was a momentous year for Karen, becoming a grandmother (not once but twice) and being appointed as the UK Head of Tax and a member of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT), which functions as an executive board running the firm’s UK business operations.
Grant Thornton is one of the world’s largest professional service networks of independent assurance, tax and advisory businesses with member firms in over 135 countries. The UK member firm, Grant Thornton UK LLP is one of the largest UK accounting and business advisers.
It has been recognised as a top employer in various diversity awards, most recently being ranked No 2 in the 2020 Social Mobility Awards.
As well as running the Grant Thornton tax business, Karen also retains client facing responsibilities and remains a North West partner. She is also the sponsor on the SLT for Social Mobility – close to her own heart given her working class roots and some of the challenges she faced moving into the world of work.
Karen’s big passion from a work perspective is supporting colleagues, clients and contacts to achieve their goals. She is committed to supporting women through sharing her experience, connections, and networks. Karen is a real advocate of mentoring and mentors both women and men within Grant Thornton and externally. She always finds time to support others despite her responsibilities – the epitome of extending a hand.
She is a member of the North West Development Committee for the Prince’s Trust, always putting ‘her money where her mouth is’ by taking part in fundraising activities. From cycling to donning those swirly frocks for a Strictly style challenge, whatever she does, she does with a 100% commitment.
Outside work, she loves spending time with her family, travelling to experience new cultures, music and theatre and her hobbies include latin and ballroom dancing and karaoke.