“I have never heard a better speech, anywhere, in any context.” Alan Farnsworth, President, Bausch & Lomb EMEA Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational motivational speaker. A professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate, Debra first hit the headlines when she set out to row across the Atlantic with her husband. Unfortunately he had to be rescued so Debra as a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken them six weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, encountering 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in her 23 foot plywood boat.
In addition to her sporting prowess, Debra is also an entrepreneur, founding her first company, a dot-com, at the age of 23 and second at 27. More recently Debra founded a diversity consultancy and training company which specialises in innovative corporate programmes. In 2015, Debra combined her two passions for adventure and gender balance by leading a team of 12 ordinary businesswomen on an expedition in the Arctic Circle as part of a wider corporate diversity programme. Debra is a regular presenter for the BBC, with credits including Grandstand, Extreme Lives, and Builders, Sweat and Tears.
Debra uses her Atlantic story and experience as an entrepreneur to powerfully but subtly draw out key business and interpersonal lessons. She powerfully illustrates with slides and stunning video footage, leaving her audience in no doubt of their own ability to achieve the extraordinary. “You’ve clearly had a massive impact on our Division … We’ve never had feedback like it for a guest speaker!” – Kate Cook, Nestlé UK