5 questions with... Catherine Bearder

Get to know Catherine Bearder in 5 questions.

1. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
My first boss in the antique shop where I worked in the late 60s. He was a wealthy, self-made man but he always said he would not ask anyone to do something he would not be prepared to do himself. It’s a good rule to live by. When in doubt, I always ask myself that question; would I be prepared to do that?

 

2. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
Marrying the love of my life after only knowing him for seven days, and then heading out to Africa with him to study spotted hyenas. That was 42 years ago and we are still happily married.

 

3. What is the one item you would save in a fire?
The drawer with all my photographs. They go back long before pictures were saved on the cloud and have memories of my parents, grandparents and children. One day, when I have nothing else to do, I am going to sort them into albums.

 

4. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read, and why?
The Serengeti Shall not Die, by Bernhard Grzimek. It shows what can be achieved by a brave and dedicated team to halt destruction of the world’s most wonderful wild areas. It was also made into a film.

 

5. What is the most humbling thing you have experienced in your career?
Getting elected as an MEP. Knowing that thousands of people had put their precious votes and trust in me to represent them is quite a humbling experience. I used to think elected people were a breed apart and much more important than me!

 

Want more 5Qs? Check out our chat with Cécile Kyenge.

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