Vice President HR, International, The Netherlands
"I don’t think I would have the courage to push outside my comfort zone if these women hadn’t come before me."
Could you tell us shortly the story of your career path at Autogrill/HMSHost, highlighting your key personal and professional milestones?
I started working at HMSHost International B.V. 5.5 years ago. I had never worked in Food & Beverage before and was quite nervous taking a role in an industry I had zero knowledge of. I knew I liked food and I liked to travel so “why not”?
During my time at HMSHost International I have been fortunate to have inherited and partially create a wonderful team of people around me. Together we created our first People Strategy for the company, formed a center of excellence of expertise, created better relationships with countries, and have introduced many new tools for associates in order to foster a more engaging work experience.
I have also faced the biggest challenge of my career so far – COVID! I’ve been a HR professional for over 25 years. I’ve never seen anything like it. I didn’t even know where to start. It was a matter of taking everything day by day, staying in touch with associates and managers, and having a close leadership team. Our goal was to SURVIVE. Well, we did!! Now we have the new challenge of starting back up again and growth.
HR never has a dull moment. I’ve been lucky with my role at HMSHost International. There is always much to do. I don’t think has been a day I’ve come home to my husband and said I had a boring day. My brain is always filled with “what can we do next or better”. I’m thankful I have people around me who support me and the team bring our ideas to fruition.
Working at Autogrill/HMSHost for me is…
An opportunity to work with the best teams. No matter what topic I’m working on I’m always so impressed with the level of knowledge around me. I also admire the way people here jump right in. There have been numerous times someone has shown up in my office saying “I heard you needed help with something” and then volunteered their time.
What would you suggest to a woman who is starting her career at Autogrill/HMSHost?
Get to know the people. Have some fun and don’t take yourself so seriously – we aren’t that kind of company. You will get more out working here by being your genuine self. Also, we all work with the “roll up the sleeves” mentality. No one is unwilling to jump in and help if it means success for the greater good.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me International Women’s Day is a time for gratitude for the women who have worked hard to help create equality in the workplace, home, arts, and sciences. I don’t think I would have the courage to push outside my comfort zone if these women hadn’t come before me. It also gives the opportunity for women currently to show who they are and how they are changing the world.