Women bring culture to the organization while fostering creative zeal and imbibing innovative spirit into the workforce. With the rising participation of women in the business world, companies are witnessing positive change with creativity and agile development.
Sprouting an era of such socio-economic equity is Bettina Schaller. She is an excellent example of inclusive leadership. Being the SVP Head Group, Public Affairs of The Adecco Group, Bettina works as the government’s Affairs Manager and envisions bringing pay transparency and parity in the corporate space.
Focussing on the HR management space, Bettina is changing the tide of work optimization and lifelong employability with The Adecco Group.
We crossed paths with Bettina to learn more about her inspiring journey.
Below are the interview highlights
Bettina, please give us a brief overview of your journey at The Adecco Group.
I joined the Group in March 2010 as a Government Affairs Manager. In the past 12 years, I built up the Function from scratch, defining its strategy, adding value and impact. I’ve worked with two Group CEOs and have witnessed two major strategic shifts, the last in early 2021 when the Group’s Future@Work Strategy was introduced. Today I oversee the Function while also holding select mandates in Organizations focusing on the World of Work.
Tell us more about your organization its vision, and the key aspects of its stronghold in the HR services space.
The Group is the world’s leading talent solutions and advisory company driven by a powerful purpose – to make the future work for everyone. Our 360° solutions enable sustainable and lifelong employability for individuals and empower organizations to optimize their workforces. The offering is unique as it caters to all needs of both workers and companies. And we lead the social innovation and social impact agenda of the Sector. We were the first to advocate for the need of a New Social Contract in 2019 before the world was shook up by the effects of COVID-19.
Elaborate more on how you’ve contributed to various organizations throughout your entire career with your expertise in various subject matters like government relations, lobbying, comitology, etc.
I have over the years developed a strong interest and footprint in the World of Work and been mandated to sit on a series of Organisations. First of all, I was elected President of the World Employment Confederation in September 2020. WEC is the voice of the Private Employment Services Industry, so the prime advocacy organization for the HR sector. I am also the vice-President of the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee of Business at OECD, which feeds into the OECD’s Labour and Employment Agenda. For the past ten years, I have been a member of the Business 20 Future at Work and Education Task Force, and for the past two years, I have been a Member of the Business 20 International Advocacy Caucus. My focus in both also under this year’s Indonesia Presidency is on the promotion of well-regulated labour markets and diverse forms of work. Then I also support the World Economic Forum’s ambition to drive the Center for the New Economy and Society, with regular contributions to the Forum’s Global Future Councils that focus on Employment and Social Affairs matters.
As a woman leader, what change do you wish to see or make in the corporate space to facilitate opportunities that are presented to women?
The biggest change needed is to bring pay transparency and pay parity to the corporate space, across all roles, and at all seniority levels.
What is your opinion on the necessity for organizations that are providing HR services to leverage modern technologies to better serve their clients?
I could not imagine that any HR organization that is not leveraging technology could make it for a long time in our Industry. The efficiency and productivity gains are clear. More so: Clients demand speed and innovation besides a competitive cost structure. Technology will enable that. The question to me is how organizations utilize the technology, notably from an ethical standpoint. I have zero tolerance when it comes to circumventing anti-discrimination requirements under the argument that technology is used. Ethics and tackling biases are other key topics to address, importantly so in the HR sector.
As an established industry leader, what would be your advice to the budding aspirants who wish to make a career in the corporate government affairs space?
Experts in the Corporate Government Affairs field must see themselves as translators or interpreters or navigators between 2 worlds: they must be able to translate the language of policymakers to their business constituents – and vice-versa. The jargon is completely different, and it is a skill to adjust to the audience in often complex technical issues that are “political.”
How do you envision further strengthening The Adecco Group’s stronghold in 2022 and beyond?
My focus at the Group lies in supporting the strategic priorities and the Group’s client base. I am currently expanding my team with a Policy Data Analyst that will further enhance our capabilities of acting as a partner to business and our policy stakeholders alike.
Please give us a few testimonials of your clients/customers and a list of awards/recognitions that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market. (If available/permissible)
Recognitions: Staffing 100 Europe Influencer since 2017; Global 100 Power Women in Staffing since 2017; Latin America Top Leader in Staffing in 2022.
In addition to my World of Work mandates, I am also the President of the Young Leaders Alumni Foundation of the American Swiss Foundation and a co-founder of “The Boardroom“, a club for female leaders in Switzerland looking to build the pipeline of female talent ready to take on Board mandates.