How Schneider Electric ‘the most local of the global companies’ turned me into a global citizen
It’s Friday afternoon and I am working from home in the United Kingdom. I am reminded of my 5-year anniversary in March with Schneider Electric. I still remember the day I joined Schneider Electric in the United Arab Emirates and the global journey I have been on; making friends along the way and being part of the Schneider Electric family.
Let me take you on a quick global tour.
Kick-off on home grounds: Dubai, UAE: The city of gold
Dubai is home to me as I was born and raised there. Only a desert land during the 1950s and quickly turning itself into one of the key hubs and innovative cities in the world. Home to the 4th Schneider Electric Hub, I was swiftly leading and driving some key initiatives; Schneider Go Green and our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) across the Middle East and Africa. We put Go Green on the map with having some of the most successful campaigns globally.
Schneider Electric in the UAE is one of the most diverse environments because we celebrate Eid, Christmas, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and many more holidays with our friends and colleagues of many backgrounds. I also got to travel to some of the other key locations where Schneider has a presence such as Malaysia, Egypt, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey to name a few. I was learning every day and fueling my adrenaline with new challenges.
First stop: South Africa: Rainbow Nation
After leaving Dubai, I went on to live in Johannesburg, South Africa where I was driving Schneider strategies both on the ground as well as remotely for the zone. Here I also represented Schneider Electric amongst the top HR professionals of Fortune 500 companies. Personally, I am very passionate about giving back to the community and working closely with some of my colleagues in South Africa. I truly recognised the meaningful purpose of Schneider Electric because of our inclusion in projects like Access to Energy and French South African Schneider Electric Centre (F’SASEC); a partnership with Schneider Electric and the French Ministry of National Education, by giving technical training to local talent and empowering the community to grow.
Next Destination: Kenya: the land of Masai Mara
Nairobi, Kenya fed to my insatiable interest in emerging markets, which means we have untapped diverse talent and have opportunities to dare to disrupt. Adopting some global company programs into the local environment gave me the opportunity to be disruptive and produce healthy, enduring results for businesses across East Africa.
Transit lounge: Hong Kong
I jetted off to Hong Kong where I spent time with my employer branding family from across the world. It was a moment when I realized that working remotely for a period, can build strong relationships and when you meet, it’s like meeting old friends for the very first time. We came from all corners of the world; Germany, USA, UK, Poland, India, Malaysia, China, Middle East, and Australia becoming a truly inclusive team driving towards one goal; Great people make Schneider Electric a great company.
Current Destination: United Kingdom: the land of the Royals
It’s not my first time in the country, as I studied in Scotland years ago, but it is a new experience for me to live and work in England. I came in as a Senior Talent Acquisition and was quickly part of the Global Executive Recruitment Team network, with projects across Europe. As a business partner and with the right mix of positivity, the ability to tap into others’ strengths and thinking outside the box, I created and sustained a set of widely successful programs both around inclusion and centre of excellence.
Final Destination: who knows?
As Olivier Blum quoted in his interview with Gallup, speaking of our multi-hub model, “It has always been the strategy of Schneider Electric to be as local as possible for the simple reason that we do a lot of business with local partners; they know the local ecosystem”. Being a global company, Schneider Electric empowered me to put the customer first by going local and through that empowerment, I became a global citizen.
About the Author
Aisha is Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist UK&I/Executive Recruiter (Europe) with over 10 years’ experience in executive search, strategic recruitment and talent management in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Part of the Global Executive Recruitment Network; Aisha identifies talent for the leadership and senior-level managerial appointments in Schneider Electric across Europe. Prior to that, Aisha was looking after employer brand, early careers and university relations across various clusters of Middle East Africa.
D&I, technology, and talent management are some of the topics close to her heart and she is a strong believer in work-life balance and outside of Schneider, she is a full-time foodie blogger and an avid traveler.