Interview with an HR communications & CSR officer : “I promote employee well-being and corporate citizenship”

May 24, 2024 - 5 min read
Also Available in : Français
Caroline Béguin, Copywriter at Sopra Banking Software

The synergy between human resources (HR) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is essential for cultivating a workplace culture that thrives on people, inclusivity, and innovation/entrepreneurship.

Meet Laure Broddelez, HR Communications & CSR Officer at SBS Benelux for the past two years. Laure is part of the Benelux HR team in the Brussels office and works closely with the central CSR department in Paris. Today, she reflects on her role and particular interest in diversity and inclusion.

Laure Broddelez, chargée de communication RH & RSE

Laure Broddelez, HR communications & CSR officer at Sopra Banking Software

CSR is a broad topic, but most people don’t understand what lies behind it. How do you explain your mission to your friends? 

Laure Broddelez : I always say, “I work for an IT company in Brussels and I’m responsible for every project around corporate responsibility, from the environment and philanthropy to diversity and inclusion, making sure our community of employees is engaged, so we contribute to building a more sustainable world.”

My mission involves working closely with HR, so we can integrate corporate responsibility into our company’s values and practices. This collaboration embeds social responsibility, ethics, and diversity throughout the employee lifecycle – from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and career development. Together, we promote employee well-being, corporate citizenship, health and wellness, work-life balance, and community engagement.

Can you give us an example of a project you’re currently working on?

Laure Broddelez : A collaboration with Actiris, the Brussels Employment Office, involving workshops with volunteers from SBS Benelux, helping us draft an ambitious diversity plan. As a result, we’re enhancing diversity and inclusion within our company through proactive recruitment and inclusive policies and practices, creating a supportive and equitable workplace environment for all employees. With targeted training and awareness campaigns, we foster a culture of respect and understanding. This initiative showcases our commitment to leveraging diversity for innovation, creativity, and social responsibility.

As an SBS employee, what kind of project could I be part of to engage with CSR? 

Laure Broddelez : For instance, we organized a padel tournament with Sopra Steria Group, and the money collected went to Vluchtelingenwerk Flanders, an organization for refugees. It was held outdoors and included a BBQ and drinks, creating a strong sense of community among the volunteers, all for a good cause.

Also, one of our unique initiatives is called “Internet Safe and Fun” in collaboration with Child Focus, a Belgian organization supporting missing and exploited children. Volunteers can sign up to give classes to 5th and 6th graders about the opportunities and dangers of the Internet. Topics include sexting and gaming, among others. Volunteers receive training from Child Focus and can present at schools, including their own children’s or ones in their neighborhood. The program consistently receives positive feedback, because it helps kids navigate the digital world and provides a break from their usual routine.

You can also donate money if you prefer!

This is your first job. What have you learned so far, being part of a diverse team?

Laure Broddelez : To provide some context, in my current role, I speak Dutch but work in Brussels where most of my colleagues are French-speaking from Wallonia. This cultural and linguistic diversity contrasts with my Flanders background.

Working in a predominantly French-speaking environment, I realized I’d been living in a bubble with like-minded friends and family. This new, diverse setting showed me how different perspectives can drive innovation and positively challenge long-standing traditions. Diversity in a team brings fresh ideas and can lead to significant positive effects.

What challenges do you encounter in your role ?

Laure Broddelez : A major challenge is navigating diverse opinions within the organization – essential for innovation, but means different views on corporate responsibility and diversity initiatives can arise. Embracing these differences and fostering collaboration and respect requires effective communication, active listening, and a commitment to finding common ground.

Change management is another significant challenge. Implementing corporate responsibility and diversity and inclusion initiatives often involves shifting entrenched mindsets and practices.

What do you like best about being a CSR officer?

Laure Broddelez : What I cherish most is the ability to effect meaningful change and drive positive outcomes for our organization, employees, and the communities we serve. It’s a privilege to work in a role that aligns with my values and allows me to contribute to building a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.

Do you have a memorable anecdote to share?

Laure Broddelez : For me, a memorable project was the 2023 Ramadan awareness video we launched with the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and the UK. It highlighted religious diversity and sparked impactful, personal conversations. The video featured heartfelt interviews with colleagues sharing their Ramadan experiences and traditions. Their openness and vulnerability in discussing fasting, prayer, and community underscored the richness of our diverse workforce and the importance of celebrating our differences.

Would you like to join the Sopra Banking Software adventure? Click here to discover our Careers page and job offers.