Evidence Based Leadership
Kerrie Hedley, XL Vets and Caroline Clarke, Open University

Kerrie Hedley, Chief Operating Officer, XLVets

Following graduation from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011, Kerry worked in 100% equine practice in the north east where she was always interested in the ‘business side’ of practice. Kerry joined the XLVets team in January 2015 as XLVets Equine Business Manager in a maternity cover role, offering the opportunity to try non-clinical work. Kerry now oversees the operational running of XLVets as Chief Operating Officer.

During the last few years of transitioning from clinical practice to a business role Kerry has undertaken the University of Liverpool Certificate in Veterinary Business Management and an MBA. Kerry undertook some research for her MBA dissertation into the barriers and enablers to female vets becoming business owners – ‘I feel very privileged to be continuing that important research to increase the representation of all veterinary women in leadership roles across the profession’.

Outside of work, Kerry can be found walking my two chocolate Labradors ‘Rolo’ and ‘Buttons’ in beautiful Northumberland, baking, doing yoga or taking on yet another DIY project!

Caroline Clarke, Open University Business School

Caroline Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies at the Open University Business School. She has a variety of research interests located within Organization Studies, with a particular emphasis on identity, anxiety, insecurity and power. Caroline’s empirical research includes a focus on first-opinion veterinary surgeons.  More recently, Caroline has developed an interest in post humanism, critical animal studies and managing in the Anthropocene.  Her work has been published a variety of journals including Human Relations, Organization Studies, Academy of Management Learning and Education, The Veterinary Record, and Gender, Work and Organisation.

Caroline lives outside Bath, together with her numerous children and a rather plump Duck Tolling Retriever called Paddy.

Session Synopses

In 2019, VMG awarded the first of their annual grants to support research aimed at advancing the understanding of contemporary veterinary business, leadership and management.

Two of the first recipients of these awards will present their work in this session and compare and contrast any overlaps in their findings.  Kerrie Hedley, Chief Operating Officer at XL Vets has investigated why women vets appear to be under-represented in leadership positions within the UK.  Caroline Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Studies at the Open University followed up her earlier research into women in vet practice by looking at why so many qualified vets leave the profession and what, if anything, leaders can do to stem the flow and even encourage those who have left, back into practice.