Máire Brankin

Máire Brankin has a BA (Hons) in Anthropology with English Literature from Oxford Brookes University. After graduating she founded Oxford Executive Coaching (www.ox-exec.co.uk), which is now one of the longest established coaching organisations in the UK.


Máire was a mature student with three small children when she applied to study for a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and English Literature at Oxford Brookes University. She had previously completed a diploma in Gender Issues at the London Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) where she had become interested in cultural aspects of gender in different societies. She found anthropology to be very exciting: “biological anthropology was interesting and challenging, but for me the philosophical aspect was the most inspiring. I was particularly intrigued by ideas about how languages we speak and the words we use might affect the ways we think about the world.”

Máire was also interested to find out how she could apply anthropology to aspects of her own society. Wanting to utilise the skills and knowledge she had gained during her degree, Maire decided to set up her own consultancy company called Oxford Executive Coaching. Maire Brankin’s company uses social anthropological methods, ethnography and interpretation, to do “cultural audits” of organisations and help senior managers understand the particular processes at work in their organisations. Máire has worked with clients ranging from the NHS to major financial institutions and Blue Chip organisations. Maire says “most consultants ask “what is going wrong here?” I ask a more anthropological question: “what is going on?” This approach is non judgemental and I find people respond much better to it. I see my anthropology degree as having given me a great gift to help me understand how systems work, which is fantastically useful for my job, and I wake up every day with people paying me a lot of money to do what I love!” Visit www.ox-exec.co.uk for more information.