Snapshot: October 08
What was your first HR job?
My first HR job was a co-ordinator for BHP-Billiton. I spent 11 years with that company. When I joined them in 1994, I basically had a high percentage of my job focused on expatriate administration as we had about 110 expatriates, who are primarily geologists, located in 35 countries.
What attracted you to a career at Microsoft?
I have two huge benefits in my life. One of them is a tremendous amount of support from my family. The second is at Microsoft where the capability and talent of the team of people that I’ve been working with have made it easy for me to do my job. In APAC, it is no different. The HR team here is really strong, capable and talented, so it makes my work easier. There is also a high degree of flexibility, support and benefits in terms of supporting working mothers and parents in the company.
Why a career in HR?
For me, the challenge of implementing diversity is the reason why I chose a career in HR. Diversity means we have no two leaders who are the same, no two teams that are the same and no two employees are the same. No two markets or geographies are the same and no two days are ever the same.
The entire profession is made up of diversity and Microsoft HR is no exception. We have many people across the team who have either been with the company for a long time or a short time and they are generalists or specialists. They have crossed within their careers into multiple professions, multiple geographies and multiple industries so we really have a diverse mix of talent. It is one of the most exciting aspects of our culture and working in HR here.
If you weren’t in HR, what would you be doing?
I would be spending more time with my family and travelling. I love playing golf but I’m not very good. But I aspire to be good so if I had more time, I’d practice more. I love all things water, like scuba dive and going to the beach. I also love food.
Which HR function do you like best?
I would say organisational design and change management are my favourites. Change management is a huge challenge and it is really thinking through where different people are at the individual and collective level. Where we want them to be, how we want to evolve, what is it going to take to get there and what it requires is a tremendous amount of thought, specificity and focus for us to be really able to institute and drive change within an organisation.
Organisational design, similarly, is an opportunity for HR to become very much immersed in the business. In order to create the most robust, durable and adaptable organisational design, we really need to understand the business to an in-depth level. I think it really builds the capability of HR to have that level of knowledge and be able to realise and align to the business.
HR director APAC
- Microsoft Asia Pacific
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