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Being an anthropologist in a big company ‘it’s interesting to look at the internal culture of a business'

Leonie Siepman is Global Culture & Change Manager at Mammoet. She followed the Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology bachelor programme and graduated in 2015. She brings a unique perspective to the corporate world. What does an anthropologist do in such a big company?

Watch Leonie during her work at Mammoet

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Appling anthropological knowledge to the world of business

During her bachelor's in Leiden Leonie already knew that she wanted to apply her anthropological knowledge to the world of business, enabling her to support entrepreneurs to make a bigger impact. So she decided to do a minor in International and Intercultural Management After finishing her bachelor Leonie followed a master's in business administration in Amsterdam. She had several jobs in corporate organizations right after her studies before she started at Mammoet in 2022.

Increasing demand for anthropologists in business

As Global Manager Culture & Change Leonie makes a positive impact on Mammoets company culture and the behavior of leaders and individuals. A company like Mammoet might not be the first that comes to mind if you think about places where anthropologists work. But Leonie sees an increasing demand for anthropologists in businesses. “In constantly changing environments, companies have to adapt to the world around them. And with that, their company culture. With a combination of organizational or project change management, diversity and inclusion and business administration I believe I can develop something rather new in corporate organizations."

Anthropology as a lifestyle

For Leonie, Anthropology is a lifestyle. Or a worldview. “It's about considering the impact of human interactions in every work context. The ability to embrace open-mindedness, observe the world around you, and apply participant observation as a daily practice.” In her work, Leonie examines how people behave and respond to change, finding ways to support them. "It is interesting to look at organizations and their internal culture, whether it is for a team, a department, or the organization in totality."

Inspiring people

Leonie likes to inspire and support individuals, encouraging them to see the value of collaboration. Witnessing people open their minds and break free from their limitations brings her joy. The small moments when I witness people become inspired and change their behavior reaffirm my belief in the power of my work.”

Photos and video by Wilke Geurds. 

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