Business Insight

High Flyers: Fiona is working to create positive change for Belfast's young people

Fiona Bailie is managing director of BCT NI CIC.

Fiona Bailie is managing director of BCT NI CIC working to provide bespoke training, mentoring and support for young people.

What was your first job.

My first job was working in the playgroup that my daughter attended. As a young mum aged 18, I postponed going to university until I was 26 and instead took a nursery nursing qualification in order to work around my children.

What qualifications do you have?

I have BA Hons combined Humanities along with various health & safety related qualifications.

What do you attribute your success to?

Determination. I attribute what I have achieved to tenacity and the ability to "keep ploughing on" and not give up when things aren't going my way!

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

I’m always on the side of the underdog and I care deeply about injustice. Hence BCT means so much to me, as we are able to provide practical support that has a very positive impact on the lives of young people who, for one reason or another, have been hugely disadvantaged.

Who do you look up to in business?

I was a great admirer of Anita Roddick for her beliefs, her business and her products. On a more local level Mary Doran from Health Matters NI is someone I find inspiring.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

I hope that I treat people the way I would like to be treated myself. That is certainly my aim.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

I am passionate about the green economy and sustainable construction and am currently involved in writing a programme for incorporating sustainability into our projects. I would love to see this approach become a part of qualifications. I believe it would help to raise awareness of global citizenship and inspire our young people to explore new horizons in this regard.

What website or app could you not do without?

Google maps! I quite literally wouldn't get anywhere without it as I have a terrible sense of direction!

What was the last book you read?

Dead man's sins (the Dublin Trilogy book five) by Caimh McDonnell.

What car do you drive?

None at the moment! I am currently living in London and excellent public transport means I don’t need a car.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I discovered the paddle board, or SUP, during lockdown and love being on water either swimming or kayaking. Water is my therapy, particularly the sea.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

Travel. I love going to different places, experiencing different cultures, eating different food and fantasising about living there! I love the Spanish way of life and have an ambition to live there in the future on the side of a mountain... I won’t reveal where it is, it’s a hidden gem and I'm keeping it that way!

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Business Insight