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 joined the BBC as Director, HR in August 2014 and is responsible for the design and implementation of the BBC's HR and Internal Communications strategy.

Prior to joining the BBC, she worked for 5 years as Group HR Director at Amey with responsibility for the HR, Communications and HSEA strategy for 20,000 employees. During this time she led the people integration of 10,000 employees from acquired company Enterprise into Amey.

Before joining Amey Valerie was Group HR Director for Steria based in Paris and with global responsibility for 20,000 employees. She joined Steria in 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Xansa by Steria and was responsible for the people merger of the two organisations. She had worked at Xansa for 10 years, initially on a part-time basis while bringing up a young family, and then moving to Group HR Director in 2004. In addition to leading the HR function she developed a new HRO service line for the organisation.

Valerie's earlier career was spent initially at Selfridges as a Personnel Manager and then working at EDS, which she joined while living in the Netherlands. She spent four years there, initially heading up European Recruitment and then becoming HR Director for Northern Europe. She then moved to the UK with EDS as head of European Compensation and Benefits before becoming UK HR Director.

She has a B.Com degree from the University of Birmingham, a post-graduate diploma in HR and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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.