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Deloitte's Managing Partner reveals passion for client work

Deloitte's Managing Partner for Regional Markets, Sharon Thorne, reveals the importance of getting the right work-life balance

Monday 3 November 2014

Accountants in managerial roles should continue to have an active relationship with clients, according to Sharon Thorne, Deloitte's Managing Partner for Regional Markets.

Commenting in a wide-ranging interview with Greater Manchester Business Week, Manchester-based Ms Thorne maintains a busy schedule of client work as well as her demanding role overseeing the firm's 17 regional offices outside of London.

This dual approach ensures Partners in managerial roles are best placed to navigate the challenges and opportunities faced by clients, as well as understand what the wider partner group is experiencing in their daily client interactions.

Shop Direct, Bibby and TalkTalk are among the clients she currently works with in the North West.

“I love client work. Just this morning, I got a call at 7.30am, because there was a problem with something, and I just find it fascinating to get your mind whirring to find out what the issues are and how you deal with them.” Sharon Thorne, Managing Partner for Regional Markets

Promoting diversity in the workplace

One area Ms Thorne has been heavily involved with is improving diversity within Deloitte and making it easier for people from all backgrounds to realise their career ambitions. Ms Thorne regularly voices her opinion publicly on some of the more difficult issues surrounding female representation in senior positions.

The Oxford University graduate has already set up a number of networks to help Deloitte's workers mentor each other and share their life experiences.

While these networks have helped the business advisory firm to celebrate diversity, Ms Thorne said further work still needs to be done in this area.

She comments: "Unconscious bias is one of the big things I have a bee in my bonnet about at the moment... we are all hard-wired to favour people who look like us and have similar interests."

Ms Thorne continues to bring not just gender diversity to the forefront of discussions but equally sexuality, ethnicity and disability, in a bid to dismantle unconscious bias affecting promotions or recruitment.

Maintaining a work-life balance

Although she told the publication that she remains "very happy" in her current position, Ms Thorne said she feels it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Sharon Thorne is Deloitte's managing partner for regional markets. After taking the advice of a personal coach, she said she took a step back and asked herself: "What are your priorities and what are you trying to achieve?"

She said her coach taught her that working 15-hour days and long hours at the weekend means you become less effective, and this is something she has been keen to tackle.

Outside of work, she enjoys many hobbies notably skiing, golf and Manchester United.

Deloitte in the North West

Ms Thorne's role may see her routinely travel up and down the country overseeing the development of Deloitte's 17 offices but her base is in Manchester.

"The North West is one of our biggest regions and the Manchester office is our biggest outside of London and is hugely successful with a great group of partners."

Ms Thorne was made a partner at Deloitte in 1998, after serving at the group's offices in Liverpool, Manchester and London.

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Copyright Press Association 2014

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