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Introducing Vanessa de Malmazet: 'In this role, I can make a tangible difference for employees'

Vanessa de Malmazet has been working as HR policy advisor in FGGA's Faculty Office since March. Promoting employee well-being is high on the Faculty Board's list of priorities for the coming years. In this new role, Vanessa will focus entirely on social safety, diversity and inclusivity, and work balance. With the aim of promoting staff wellbeing. In this interview, we would like to introduce you to Vanessa and ask her about her plans for the coming period. 'We don't want to make policies that end up in some drawer, but really come up with practical solutions that’ll make a difference.'

Social safety, diversity and inclusivity, and work balance all have an impact on how comfortable you feel at work. The results of the staff monitor confirmed that this is an important point of concern for the faculty. Vanessa: 'We want to make the faculty a place where everyone feels at ease, goes to work feeling confident and able to be themselves, no matter who you are.'

Practical solutions that make a difference

Vanessa will work closely with colleagues from other faculties, Leiden's D&I office and the Faculty Board. But she especially wants to hear from the staff themselves. To find out if they have any ideas that could make a difference. Vanessa: 'We shouldn't have the ambition to solve everything right away. We know there’s much room for improvement. But we’d like to know where and how we can best start in order to remedy it.'

To this end, she is organising several brainstorming sessions in May and June to which all faculty staff are invited. Here, colleagues can make their voices heard by helping to come up with solutions. As an example, Vanessa mentions the process that needs to be followed when someone experienced an event in which they felt mistreated or disrespected. 'The staff monitor showed that this wasn't very clear, so we need to address this. But what would benefit our staff most? We’d like to hear that from staff themselves. We don't want to make a policy that ends up in some drawer, but really come up with practical solutions that’ll make a difference.'

Vanessa de Malmazet

Managers have an important role to play

Managers have an important role when it comes to employee well-being. They are able to influence the atmosphere and signal if something is going on within the team. In order to do so, training and awareness are important, but so is continuing to communicate with each other. Vanessa: 'HR Advisors will be able to support managers in this; for instance, by being a sparring partner to discuss issues within the team.' She will also focus on 'putting the basics in order' over the coming period. Combining the information that is available and making it visible so that it becomes clear to employees and managers what initiatives are available and where colleagues should go.

Strong sense of justice

Vanessa is no stranger to social safety and inclusivity. She previously worked for War Child for seven years where she also dealt with integrity. 'I’ve always had a certain sense of justice. In my new role, I can really make a tangible difference for employees. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for me to now be able to fully focus on promoting the well-being of employees.'

Questions and contact persons

Do you have any questions about this topic? You can reach Vanessa via email

It is also possible to contact one of the available confidential advisors at any time. A confidential advisor is someone you can turn to if there is something you want to discuss confidentially or if you are in need of advice. For example, about bullying, (sexual) harassment, aggression, or discrimination. But you can also contact a confidential advisor in the event of problems with your manager or a violation of scientific integrity.

Text: Judith van Doorn

Will you help us make FGGA a welcoming and inclusive environment?

We want FGGA to become a place where everyone feels welcome, at ease, and included.

Unfortunately, the outcomes of last year's personnel monitor and D&I survey show that we are not quite there yet. Which is why we need to think about the way in which we interact with each other. And we would like to do this together with you. Together with you and together with anyone else who would like to think along. That is why we are organising several brainstorming sessions in May and June.

We are interested in hearing your ideas, big or small, about what you think could really make a difference. What have you seen at other employers that worked well? What do you yourself need that is missing right now?

With the help of your ideas, we can start developing actions to make FGGA a place where employees enjoy going to work and feel at ease and welcome.

Do you work at FGGA, and would you like to get involved? In that case, sign up for one of our 4 sessions.

Tuesday 30 May - 14.00 - 15.00

Thursday 1 June - 11.00 - 12.30 (lunch included)

Tuesday 6 June - 11.00 - 12.30 (lunch included)

Thursday 8 June - 14.00 – 15.00

Register here

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