Olympic rower and former senior diplomat Cath Bishop is a leadership speaker with key lessons relaying the need for clarity, a constant learning mindset and genuine collaboration to achieve success. Delivering outstanding performance under extreme circumstances is Cath’s lifeblood – both from her gruelling Olympic training regime and her experience as a diplomat in the middle of the fiercest conflict on a diplomatic mission to Basra.
In her rowing career, Cath Bishop competed at three Olympic Games, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, with highlights including winning the World Championships in 2003 and an Olympic silver medal in 2004. Cath returned from her first two Olympic games without a medal but remained determined to unlock the key to winning a medal. A combination of some soul-searching, seeking out feedback and reviewing her performances to date led Cath to see a much wider view of performance, encompassing a change of mindset, behaviours and teamwork, which allowed her to come back to a third Olympics and make it onto the podium.
As a diplomat specialising in conflict issues for a decade, she was posted to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Basra, Iraq, as well as leading in Whitehall on the UK civilian contribution to stabilising conflicts around the world. These experiences equipped her with the highest level of strategy-building, resilience, and a determination to do her job in the face of significant adversity.
Cath continues to be active in supporting the next generation of sporting talent, through her work in support of the Women’s Sport Trust and her role as Chair of Cambridge University’s Women’s Boat Club, which saw the Women’s Boat Race finally join the Men’s Boat Race on the same day and same race course in front of the same global audience that follows this annual British sporting event. Cath is a member of the BBC Boat Race Commentary team and a regular newspaper reviewer on Radio 4’s Sunday morning programme Broadcasting House.
Drawing on a decade as an Olympian and over a decade as a career diplomat specialising in conflict issues, Cath Bishop understands the complex challenges that come from dealing with exceptionally high-pressure demands in the workplace, sporting arena and at home. Keynote speaking and seminars cover topics including leadership, resilience, teamwork, performing under pressure, striving for excellence, and a passionate interest in helping women reach their leadership potential.
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