Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational woman; a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate, Debra is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, HSBC, UBS, Microsoft, Google and Pfizer.
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, 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.
Businesswoman and Diversity Champion
Yet Debra is more than your usual sports speaker. She graduated from university with 1st Class Honours, starting 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, such as the LeasePlan Women’s Arctic Challenge.
Debra’s spirit of adventure gained her an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen and she was delighted to be appointed a trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 2003, the youngest and only female trustee working alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. Debra has been appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her services to the Award.