Q&A with Ingrid

Ingrid Jenkins is the Director of Human Resources at Microsoft

Ingrid joined Microsoft Australia in October 2015 in the role of HR Director. Ingrid and her team are accountable for partnering with the Microsoft Business Leader community to align the people agenda to achieve the Microsoft vision of Mobile First, Cloud First. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ingrid worked in senior HR roles in Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent.

Ingrid has a keen passion for the IT & T sector and the opportunities for the HR function within this fast paced and leading edge sector. She is motivated by the role HR plays in partnering with leaders to build a differentiated employment experience which inspires each team member to reach their full potential.

Ingrid has a Bachelor of Economics degree from University of Sydney and post graduate qualifications in Human Resources Management. Outside of work, Ingrid lives on Sydney’s northern beaches with her husband and two daughters.

Q&A with Ingrid

What was your first HR role and in which industry?

My first real HR role was as a HR Assistant at a manufacturing plant which made undersea (submarine) fibre optic cable. It was a very high tech manufacturing plant and it was a great induction into the world of HR, particularly with all the employee relations considerations.

How or why did you become a HR professional?

I studied Economics at university and during the course of my studies got my first real exposure to what HR was. It felt like the perfect fit for me because I had a passion for business and people.

What is your view of human resources as a business function?

HR is often a poorly understood discipline and profession, often with inferences of policing and compliance. Whilst policies and compliance are important, it’s so much more than that. I always think I’m in a privileged position as I get to have a breadth of exposure across the business. In our roles as HR professionals we get to see things with a different perspective and, with that, bring genuine diverse opinions into business conversations. When you consider that people and their IP is often the biggest competitive differentiator for an organisation I think the value proposition for the role HR can play is very compelling.

What are some of the challenges in moving into HR Management and above?

I’m not sure the challenges in moving into a manager role in HR is any different to any other profession. It’s a different ball game when you are accountable for the experiences and impact of a team, not just you as an individual. I was fortunate to be given my first management role early on in my career and really had very little support or structure around how to transition from individual contributor to manager. I’m sure I made more mistakes than I can remember but some things have held true to this day which I think are important: – a genuine care and desire to invest in how others experience their work environment; have passion and energy for what you do so that others can be inspired by that; provide vision and clarity on what’s important; listen far more than you talk (I still struggle with this one); be vulnerable and authentic.

Any advice for the next generation of Aspiring HR Leaders?

Be passionate and unapologetic for the important role you/ HR play. Be curious and learn through every experience; learn to thrive in changing and transformational environments and get comfortable with ambiguity.

What do you enjoy doing during your free time?

Reading is my opportunity to switch off. I can bury myself in a book and forget the world around me. I also love spending time with my family, particularly on holidays. I love planning for the holiday almost as much as the holiday itself! Getting together with my friends and girls’ weekends away are always on the priority list too.

Aspire HRD 2019

Ingrid joins the line-up at Aspire HR Sydney 2019 and will be speaking in the series of sessions on Disruption &  Innovation on day 1 of the main conference. Joining Ingrid will be Facebook, Coca Cola Amatil, KPMG and many more with the focus of these sessions is on:
  • What technology and business processes have caused transformation?
  • How can HR navigate through disruption?
  • How can HR transform and lead change by utilising emerging technologies?
  • How are the successful businesses designing their recruitment models to attract the best talent?

Aspire HR 2019 will be hosted in Sydney on March 28 + April 2-3 and brings together the most brilliant minds with a focus on five key areas:

  • Employee Experience
  • Disruption & Innovation
  • Leadership Development
  • HR Transformation
  • Talent Management

For more information visit https://www.aspirehrd.com.au/summit/or to request a conference program, call (02) 8875 7794 or register@aspirelearning.net.au