Jane Lewis, Allens
Jane Lewis is the Director of People & Development at Allens, a leading law firm in the Asia Pacific region and globally via its strategic alliance with Linklaters. Jane is a strategic business and human resources executive with an impeccable track record in directing people and development strategy within the legal industry. In her…
Jane Lewis is the Director of People & Development at Allens, a leading law firm in the Asia Pacific region and globally via its strategic alliance with Linklaters.
Jane is a strategic business and human resources executive with an impeccable track record in directing people and development strategy within the legal industry. In her current position she plays roles in overall firm leadership as a member of Allens’ Executive Committee and Operations Committee, as well as leading the People and Development function.
Her extensive experience includes leading complex change agendas, developing and driving all aspects of people strategy to enhance employee experience as well as business outcomes, and building people and development teams.
Jane is passionate about increasing the capacity of individuals and organisations to adapt and thrive in the face of complexity.
Q&A with Jane
What was your first HR role and in which industry?
My first role was in learning and development working for a luxury consumer brand.
How or why did you become a HR professional?
My undergraduate degree was in secondary education but I decided while studying that I was more excited by the idea of working within organisations than in the education system. I was interested in business and was attracted to the possibility of helping organisations to be successful by helping their people to grow and develop. After I completed my degree I secured a role in L&D (actually – it was called training back then, it was so long ago!). From L&D I broadened out across HR, motivated by putting different pieces of the “HR puzzle” together and making sure they were working together to drive the right capability, culture and business outcomes.
What is your view of human resources as a business function?
I think there are two roles to HR. The first is working as part of the Executive to shape overall strategy, set the change agenda and manage the business. The second is to work with stakeholders to create the leadership systems, capability and culture to achieve strategy and to optimise the alignment between employee and business needs.
What are some of the challenges in moving into HR Management and above?
Shifting from being a technical HR expert and an independent operator to being a strategic business advisor and leading and aligning a team.
Any advice for the next generation of Aspiring HR Leaders?
Nothing is certain about what the next generation of HR leaders will need to do except that they will need to support transformation on a scale that has never been experienced. How we do this will affect not just organisations but the social landscape more broadly. Build your toolkit to help you navigate this personally and professionally. Over 70% of change efforts fail to deliver the anticipated value and the change we need to navigate is only getting more complex – we need to do better.
What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
Spending time with my family, doing yin yoga and feeding my vice of Netflix and fiction when I can!