As part of our Leading Women series, we want to highlight the professional challenges and career aspirations of the women we work with here in Asia.  

In this feature, Normalis Mohammad-SharifDanone's Human Resources Director in the India-Southeast Asia Region, shares how staying true to her values helped her flourish in her career. She also highlights her insights into the evolution of human resources (HR), how HR teams adapt during COVID-19 and the best strategies for female leaders to rise and succeed.

Q: What do you feel has been the biggest changes HR has gone through as a profession over the years? 

Yeah. So, what I feel is that in recent years, HR business partnering has played an increasingly important role in contributing to business decisions and business strategies. When I first started work more than 20 years ago, HR was more of an administrative function. But now, it is an essential function to business performance and business success. So as HR leaders, I would say that we need to be business savvy. We need to keep abreast of the developments in the markets that we are working in. We need to design people’s strategies that will contribute to the deliverable of your business strategies. And in the past, of course, you know, HR is, you know, the function that usually safeguards the company’s policies. I wouldn’t say that has changed. But it would be good for HR professionals to become agile to adapt and advise our stakeholders on how to make the policies work for the business instead of the other way around. That’s how I see his HR has evolved. And by right, yes, in most big companies, HR is actually a very important business partnering function to the business leaders.

This is an abridged version of the full interview with Normalis Mohammad-Sharif. For the full version of the interview, click here.  

Read more Leading Women articles

Join over 80,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.