Janette Faherty OBE
Sadly on Friday 3rd
March Janette Faherty OBE passed away after a short illness. Janette’s family are trying to raise money for North London hospice and have set up a Just Giving page
in her name. Janette was always so generous and thoughtful, that she would be pleased to be raising money to help others.
Janette believed that businesses could do well by doing good. That’s what drove her thinking, her approach, her dynamism and her enthusiasm.
Janette was one of a kind, a leading figure within the employability and skills sector who leaves a genuine legacy through the many lives she touched so positively, her leadership of TNG and Avanta, her shrewd lobbying of politicians and decision makers, the people she connected and through her vision for an Institute which supports and represents employability professionals.
Despite her seniority in her business and our industry, she was its doyenne, Janette knew everyone’s names and cared about their opinions. She was the mistress of the direct question and the supplementary one too, but her gentle style encouraged us to share our thoughts and follow through on our ambitions. She was a sharp and accurate judge of character. Janette had no idea how to be stuffy or unapproachable. It just wasn’t her way.
Fran Parry sums up how so many people feel about Janette:
‘my friend, colleague and mentor. She was a generous giver of time; taking the view that ‘ if you ask a busy woman’ the job is most likely to get done. She was constantly available with good advice and was always free with her introductions to her remarkable contacts list. She was the consummate networker. Janette more than deserved her OBE and the sector was delighted to reflect in some of the glory of that honour’.
Janette’s vision, ethics and personality permeated TNG; although it was a big and successful company she ensured it had a very personal feel to it and it was clear that she genuinely cared about her people. She seemed to know every person in the company and often knew quite personal and intimate details about their lives – it was clear that her people trusted her. Janette was a unique business leader, there is no doubt about that.
Helen McAnally remembers many a catch up:
‘Janette had a very sharp and quick mind and her observations on our industry were always clear and insightful. She had a unique ability to combine visionary thinking with keeping it real and her pragmatic approach meant that things she talked about usually eventuated’.
Janette was never selfish, whilst running her large company she thoughtfully supported and guided fellow entrepreneurs to build their businesses by making introductions and giving sound advice. James Clements Smith who knew Janette for almost 20 years captures this ‘Janette was an inspirational leader, she never compromised her belief that women entrepreneurs could be that: women. Janette was an inspiration to me personally and professionally and helped me shape my thoughts and direction for my business; she was selfless in that respect’
The creation of the Institute of Employability Professionals is a typical example of how Janette worked – she was one of the founding members and her significant contribution of time, resources, expertise and energy ensured that the IEP went from an idea to an organisation that will be part of her legacy to the employability sector. It was whilst project managing the implementation of IEP that Helen Richardson got the chance to work alongside Janette, this period stands out a highlight in her own career: ‘I learnt so much from Janette about transitioning from employee to business owner, Janette has been my trusted sounding board as Workpays has grown. I will miss her as a colleague and as a friend’.
Always an innovator, Janette had a particular passion for technology and for supporting young people.
Russell Butcher recalls:
‘I worked with Janette at the Digital Youth Academy, just one of the many businesses which she helped establish in true Janette entrepreneurial mode. Having worked in the sector for many years I was looking forward to directly working with Janette for the first time, I wasn’t disappointed. A true visionary, role-model, natural leader, motivator and with an obvious passion for helping people, she was an all-round inspiration’.
For such a small person Janette will leave an enormous gap. She will be remembered most for her generosity, such a very giving person who liked to help for no other reason than it made things better for the people she was involved with. To lose our friend so young is a tragedy but nonetheless we can take so many things from Janette’s example – not least her complete integrity, her faith in human nature, and the way she cared for and nurtured the industry she loved.
In memory of Janette, ERSA, AELP, and the IEP hope to offer an annual Janette Faherty OBE, Award for Entrepreneurship in Employability & Skills. Sponsored by Workpays and Prevista, the award will be for made to a new business set up to provide education, Skills or employability which operates against a strong set of values to meet the needs of its customers.
Contributors: Helen Richardson, Workpays; Fran Parry, Bright Sparks;James Clements Smith, Prevista; Helen McAnally, Parkhouse Bell; Russell Butcher, DYA/Starbucks