Salma de Graaff, CHRO at Skyscanner, tries to build workplaces where the feeling of belonging is felt throughout the whole organization, and believes people teams can be real advocates for change. It requires focusing on what you can control, and perhaps, a little bit of magic. Meer horen hierover? Luister het in deze (Engelstalige) podcast, opgenomen op 9 december 2022.
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Salma de Graaff, VP People: Salma leads Skyscanner’s HR and People operations, providing world-class development and support to over 1,000 colleagues across the globe. Having lived and worked in three continents, she brings more than 20 years of professional experience, including leadership roles at Heineken and Travix. She’s passionate about cultural diversity and inclusivity, as well as elevating and empowering diverse voices in the workplace.
My name is Salma de Graaff, and I’ve worked in leadership roles in HR for the past two decades, including at Heineken and Travix. I’m British born, with a Dutch husband, a nine year old daughter and a dog, all of whom keep life busy and exciting. I love to be outdoors and will often take my calls as ‘walking meetings’ to fit some fresh air into my hectic day. There is an added benefit here of being able to take a break from the construction zone that is my home: I’m currently undertaking a house renovation.
When I’m not working, walking, spending time with family or negotiating with builders, I’m an avid traveller who has been fortunate enough to live in countries across the world. So I suppose it felt inevitable that I’d end up at a travel company; first Travix and now at Skyscanner. My day job at Skyscanner is as VP of People, leading our HR and People operations. I’m focussed on providing world-class development and support to over 1,000 colleagues across the globe. It’s hugely varied, and one aspect I really love about my role is the way in which HR and People teams can champion inclusion and create long term change when it comes to organisational diversity. To thrive, businesses need to reflect the wider world: personally as a mixed-race woman, and professionally as a leader, elevating and empowering diverse voices in the workplace is a real priority point. The world is changing, and about time too. For HR functions to keep at the forefront of these changes, we need to be agile, bold and drive change from within.