Robert B. Smith and Vanessa McGowan (right) with Professor Ann S. Masten (centre)
Pathways to Resilience International Conference, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Co-Founders: Robert B Smith & Vanessa McGowan
Our commitment to using Personality Profiling for Social Good has led to the formation of People Diversity and our combined knowledge and experience – and real enthusiasm! – have shaped its Vision, Core Values and high quality, practical Profiles.
We offer our clients a breadth of hands-on experience working with a diverse range of people, in a variety of organisational environments, across the key areas of Developmental Psychology, HR, Education and Family Services.
Robert B. Smith, MBPsS, MPhil, PGCE, BSc (Hons)
I first became interested in personality when my twin daughters were born, and it soon became clear that that they had very different temperaments! This generated a deep personal curiosity about individual differences in temperament and personality, and has shaped my career path ever since.
After studying psychology at university, I worked in brain rehabilitation as an Assistant Psychologist. Seeing sometimes dramatic changes in personality in people following traumatic brain injury intrigued me and fuelled my interest in the brain, the origins of personality and human behaviour. As a Lecturer in Psychology and Health Studies, in both further and higher education, my work centred around nurturing the development of aspiring uniformed public services employees and health and social care professionals in the areas of Child Development, Lifespan Development, Health Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. Furthering my personal and professional development, I trained as a psychometrics practitioner at the Myers-Briggs Foundation’s Centre for the Application of Psychological Type (CAPT) in Gainesville, USA. Since then I have used personality profiling with children, adults, parents, students and teachers and in applied contexts such as personal development, learning styles, relationships, careers, team building and leadership development.
More recently, before co-founding People Diversity, I was Project Officer/Research Associate with the University of Central Lancashire, investigating family resilience and producing a Masters’ thesis in the area of Parental Resilience and Child Development. This three-year project resulted in me devising and developing a family resilience intervention programme, a key component of which is the use of personality profiling within families in order to raise awareness of diversity and individual differences in parents and knowledge of infant temperaments and the development of personality in children.
My impetus for co-founding the social enterprise People Diversity was the belief that personality is a key element of diversity and is often overlooked. I have seen first-hand the benefits that personality profiling can bring to individuals, groups and organisations and I have a strong desire to make these benefits available to not-for-profit organisations. In seeking to widen participation in this way and extend access to the third sector, I am passionate about using personality profiling for social good!
Vanessa McGowan, MSc, PGCE, MCIPD
Empathic and down-to-earth, my core inspiration is assisting people to develop personally and professionally – helping them identify and value their strengths, and work on any ‘stretches.’ Personality profiling gives this process a practical boost through the increased awareness of self and ‘people diversity’ that it brings and – so far! – I have enjoyed seeing people grow in my role as a parent, Human Resources (HR) professional, psychometric assessor, counsellor, high school teacher and Consultant.
My professional HR career developed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MOSI), as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, managing my own department. This involved designing, implementing and monitoring corporate policies and procedures, and managing recruitment and talent planning, learning and development (L&D) and employee relations (ER). It was here that I became a qualified test user through the British Psychological Society and introduced psychometric assessment into MOSI to enhance these important areas.
In the field of education, my role as a Maths Teacher/Intervention Consultant provided the opportunity to introduce teachers to personality assessment through CPD activities in three Manchester high schools, and support students in developing self-awareness and self-confidence, empathy toward others, effective study skills, GCSE/career directions and strong, reflective CVs.
As a HR Consultant, I have managed a range of projects for clients in the public and private sectors which incorporated psychometric assessment, including: designing and delivering L&D programmes; recruitment and selection campaigns; support programmes for senior management during corporate restructuring; assisting an equal opportunities investigation for a major airport. Perhaps my most engaging assignment was devising and managing the recruitment and selection strategy for a Star Trek exhibition, which involved partnership marketing and media interviews in Star Trek costume!