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Communication Global Practice Director
Watson Wyatt Worldwide
Kathryn Yates has been helping organizations manage change, effectively communicate with employees on benefit issues and increase overall employee engagement. Ms. Yates focuses on the latest technologies to help employers communicate on retirement and health care benefits at a time when employees are expected to take on a more active role in their retirement and health care planning. Ms. Yates is a past president of the Council of Communication Management.
Greatest influence: "Perhaps not what you’d expect as there weren’t a lot of women in senior positions when I began my career. Also, as the first in an extended family to attend college, 'career' wasn’t a familiar concept. However, I learned from many sources good and bad. Learned patience from an impatient manager, learned the value of taking time in performance reviews from an otherwise bad manager who surprised me with the gift of time and attention. Learned the power of gracious behavior from both Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Olympic athlete) and Bill Norris (founder of Control Data Corp.) and I’ve more recently learned from younger associates who keep me fresh with new media. Dedication and perseverance I’ve learned from my daughter, an Olympic athlete."
Best professional advice: "Don’t avoid the details, but don’t get caught up in them either."
Early aspirations: "I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a roller-skating singer movie star, but when the market seemed rather slim, I went into TV production. Insurance wasn’t on my radar screen, however when I landed there I was fascinated by the blend of finance and behavioral science."