SHRLG Masterclass Series: Do you care about your people? With Geoff McDonald


On Thursday 15th April the Scottish HR Leadership Group (SHRLG), in conjunction with Executive Search specialists FWB Park Brown, welcomed Global Advocate, Campaigner and Consultant on Mental Health in the Working World Geoff McDonald to speak at the fourth in a series of virtual masterclasses. This series of HR focused, workplace behaviour masterclasses is attended by many of Scotland’s senior HR leaders and their teams.

Geoff candidly spoke about his own experience of mental health with honesty and clarity, specifically highlighting his work-related depression whilst at Unilever, and how this impacted his life and the lives of those close to him.

The session was very emotive, and sparked conversation around how leaders can provide practical support to employees within the workplace. Geoff provided tangible examples of what organisations at the forefront of employee wellbeing are doing, and how companies can take that first step to support their people. The session ended with a Q&A led by audience questions which had been raised throughout the session, providing inspirational insight into the impact organisations can make when their employees feel supported in terms of their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Alix Meekison of FWB Park Brown and Secretary to the Scottish HR Leadership Group commented on the session “Geoff’s session was so impactful, he left us with a lot of practical take aways and how we can really put mental health central to success in our organisations. A robust Q and A was incredibly useful and a global cutting edge perspective on such a key issue was a privilege to be part of.”

Each masterclass of this series has supported a different charity partner. For our fourth masterclass, the charity partner was Tiny Changes, a Scottish charity working to help young minds feel better. Tiny Changes was founded in memory of Scott Hutchison, and supports the mental health of young people by supporting projects, sharing stories and pushing boundaries to raise awareness.

We are delighted to be able to share this lecture with you:

Geoff McDonald, Global Advocate, Campaigner & Consultant on Mental Health in The Working World

Geoff speaks with brutal honesty about his work-related depression whilst at Unilever – a taboo subject in even the most progressive organisations – and reveals how he is challenging the culture of silence around mental illness.

Geoff’s background in HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is impeccable. During his 25 years with Unilever (with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global, working across Africa, Middle-East, Turkey, Asia, Europe and the Americas. His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organisation change, capability development with particular reference to marketing and business transformation with purpose at its core.

Today, Geoff is inspiring and provoking organisations to put purpose at the centre of everything they do and to challenge the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. He is now also addressing the current issue of remote working and how you can maintain a sense of well-being during the CV19 pandemic sharing thoughts on how to look after your and your people’s mental health during self-isolation.

The charity partner for this SHRLG Masterclass session was Tiny Changes, to learn more about the work they do please have a look at their website ( Should you wish to donate to Tiny Changes you can do so using the following link:

The series of masterclasses run from March through to June 2021.  For further details on the Masterclass series, please download the full Masterclass Series brochure. For more information on the Scottish HR Leadership Group please contact Alix Meekison on

Get in touch

Contact the team at FWB Park Brown to discuss your individual or company requirements, or to discover more about our specialist services.