For International Women’s Day we’re shining a light on our Head of Business Solutions, Francesca Zenati.
Starting out her career as a Combat Medic in the British Army, it was her passion for the values she’d experienced there that brought her to Call of the Wild.
Fran was just 19 years old when she first joined HM Forces in 2005 as a first aid medic based in Germany. She quickly progressed from civilian to soldier training instructor before becoming medical practice team lead responsible for a busy practice in charge of delivering training to a unit of over 1000 soldiers. By the time she left the British Army in February 2017, she was the most operationally experienced combat medic, responsible for the medical service and support of 550 infantry soldiers.
Fran served on tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during 12 years of service with the Army and made her way to the top 10% of the British Army enabling her to become a section commander for a phase one establishment. Her work training new recruits resulted in a leadership award for most inspirational leader. She was also awarded the DZ Award For Bravery after the military vehicle she was travelling in with colleagues was blown up. Ignoring her own injuries, she treated those around her in a more critical condition.
It’s an experience that will stay with Fran forever yet making the transition from the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan to the corporate world of learning and development has been surprisingly easy. And she says that is for one reason: “It’s all about values. An organisation’s values lay the foundation for what the company cares about most – they are your guiding principles. As a front line medic with the army, it wasn’t just about survival. Courage, discipline, respect, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment were the values that that we all lived by. That’s what gave us our sense of purpose. In the world of business, well-defined values should be the bedrock of why all organisations exists because strong values result in better decision making and ultimate success.”