Kay grew up in Blackburn and attended local schools before moving to Bath to complete a degree in Human Ecology. On graduating from university, she returned to Lancashire, where she began working as a Primary School project officer for East Lancashire Education Business Partnership. The role was part of the Graduates into Industry programme which included undertaking a management qualification alongside full-time employment.

Kay worked at the Education Business Partnership and Via Partnership for 19 years undertaking various roles focused on work-related learning, teacher placements and employer engagement with schools. Kay progressed to Director of Operations, managing Work Experience across Lancashire.

Kay was welcomed to Inspira in January 2016, launching the Lancashire LEP and Careers and Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser Network across Lancashire. The network is made up of 131 secondary schools (including Alternative Education providers and Special Schools) and colleges matched to local volunteer business leaders, 'Enterprise Advisers', who provide strategic capacity to help plan inspirational careers programmes. The network is focused on boosting the number of employer encounters that young people receive during their educational journey, as well as tangible experiences of the workplace.

Her current role as Careers Hub Lead for Lancashire supports one of 21 national pilots. The Careers Hub pilot was launched in September 2018 in 30 schools and colleges across the Blackpool Opportunity Area, Burnley and Pendle, providing additional capacity to enable schools and colleges to achieve the full breadth of the Gatsby Benchmarks. The schools and colleges are making excellent progress – at the beginning of the pilot the average achievement was 2.4 of the 8 Benchmarks (with a focus on the two associated with employer interactions), as of January 2020, the performance was at 5.6. Significant progress has been made, with a focus on quality and sustainability. The Lancashire Careers Hub's achievements were recognised at the national Careers Excellence Awards (Gatsby Foundation and CEC) in September 2019, when Lancashire was awarded Careers Hub of the Year!