Valerie Hughes-D'Aeth

Valerie Hughes-D'Aeth

Current position: HR Director, BBC

Course: BCom, Commerce, 1981


This mentor may be of interest to students with an interest in careers in HR, management, leadership roles and/or construction management.


Valerie's career began in retail as a Graduate Trainee and subsequently Human Resources Manager at Selfridges. She then moved to the Netherlands and worked for EDS in a variety of HR roles including European Recruiting Manager and Northern Europe HR Director. After 4 years in the Netherlands, she moved back to the UK with EDS, and spent a couple of years as European Compensation and Benefits Manager before becoming UK HR Director and overseeing a significant growth in headcount through a mix of direct hire recruitment, TUPE and acquisition.

After 12 years with EDS, Valerie moved to Xansa PLC and during her time at Xansa as Group HR Director, led a major award winning HR transformation programme which resulted in a new HRO service line for the organisation. She also drove the company’s growth through acquisition and leading edge HR practices to 10,000 employees.

In 2007, Valerie worked with the Xansa Board on the sale of Xansa to Steria, a French listed IT Services organisation with 20,000 employees, and on completion of the sale was appointed Group HR Director of Steria with responsibility for the integration of the two organisations and the overall HR strategy supporting all employees across 16 countries.

After leaving Steria, Valerie joined Amey in March 2009 as Group HR and Communications Director and had responsibility for the Group HR strategy as well as Communications and Health and Safety. She has recently been appointed HR Director of the BBC and will take up the role managing the corporation's people division in August 2014.

Valerie has a B.Com degree from Birmingham University. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and is a Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Outside of work, Valerie spends most of her time with her family. She has 3 children and can regularly be found supporting them on a sports field. She also enjoys keeping fit and exploring genealogy.

Quotes from mentees

  • I lacked in business and commercial awareness and so I asked Valerie for her advice to overcome this and on interview preparations. Valerie made many useful suggestions which consisted of looking at a company’s annual reports to gain better understanding of revenues, margins and profits to gain an understanding into the business's organisation.
  • I had a great time talking with Valerie about her time at university, jobs and how she first started her career as a retail graduate with Selfridges. In turn Valerie asked me about university life, my career objectives and what I would like to achieve from the ALMP.
  • As a psychology student, I don’t have much of a business background. Here Valerie broke down my concerns regardless of my lack of knowledge and explained to me in depth how HR operates. From what I have learnt so far HR is the strategic management of organisations' important assets, their people.