Cath Bishop

Olympic rower and respected diplomat Cath Bishop is a versatile speaker with key lessons for companies floundering in the rocky waters of business. Sharing practical strategies to help teams make a splash with exceptional results, Cath relays the need for clarity and honesty to achieve success.

Delivering outstanding performance under extreme circumstances is Cath’s lifeblood – both from her gruelling Olympic training regime, which led her to a silver medal and World Championship gold, and through her struggle for survival as she sheltered from shelling on her diplomatic mission to Basra.

Cath returned from two Olympic games without a medal and decided that, after rigorous physical and psychological training, she had to unlock the secret to her non-success. In her search for new tactics, she ultimately adopted the well-documented ‘marginal gains’ attitude that saw her sail smoothly onto the podium.
No stranger to tough situations, the decade Cath spent as a British diplomat in Bosnia and Iraq has equipped her with the highest level of strategy-building, resilience, and a determination to do her job in the face of danger and adversity.
Cath is a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta and a spokeswoman for the Women’s Sports Trust. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Surrey University Business School, and is an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and the University of Wales Aberystwyth. Cath has been a rowing commentator for Eurosport, the BBC Boat Races and Henley Royal Regatta, is a regular newspaper reviewer on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, and panellist at the BBC3 Free Thinking Festival.

Cath’s book, The Long Win: The Search for a Better Way to Succeed was published in October 2020. The book explores our cultural obsession with winning and how it affects the way we approach work, sport, education and beyond. Through a combination of Cath’s personal story and others’ stories, research and interviews, Cath examines the consequences of a win-at-all-costs approach and proposes a new way of redefining success
Both rowing and international diplomacy are effective analogies for interdependency and collaboration in business. In a unique amalgamation of her diverse experiences, Cath deftly relates genuine insights into setbacks and how to respond to them