Pam Penkman

After graduating with a degree in Geography from Sheffield, Pam took the pragmatic decision to gain some office skills before tackling the job market. Her first role as a dealer in a unit trust company in the City was followed by various administrative posts in major accounting and consultancy firms in London, Germany and Iran. In the 1980s she and her young family relocated to Oman. (Those were the days when wives followed their husbands – not something which happens much now!) After five years spent mainly recruiting academic staff for Sultan Qaboos University, she returned to the UK and qualified as a company secretary, a profession which trains a person to appreciate, amongst other things, the ins and outs of company and commercial law, read a set of accounts and understand the parameters of business finance.

She has recently retired from the position of partner and company secretary at BuroHappold Engineering, a Bath-based but international firm of consulting engineers. There, her particular responsibility was the development and maintenance of a form of corporate governance and corporate structure appropriate to an international firm. Additionally she managed the in-house team of commercial lawyers, reported to the board on health and safety issues across the entire firm, and oversaw the procurement of a complex portfolio of insurance covers.

Pam and her partner Fred, a civil engineer, have lived in Bath for 25 years.