Aspiring Women 29.09.2022

Aspiring women @ Broad Horizon – Emely Semedo

Emely Semedo | Manager HR Shared Service Center Broad Horizon since May 2022 | 28 years | Young mum | Determined | Focused 

Emely studied Organisational psychology at the University in Amsterdam. Initially, she wanted to become a developmental psychologist, but after having followed a course on occupational psychology she was so fascinated by this subject that she decided to continue in this field. She started her professional career as a recruiter and was soon appointed HR manager at True in 2020. Since May this year, she has been working as Manager HR Shared Services at Broad Horizon. “This is a new function within the Broad Horizon Group, so it allows me to see how this job will evolve in the future and how I can set my mark,” says Emely. 

Emely manages a team of nine HR professionals and is responsible for all administrative HR-related tasks within the group. ‘Our main goal as HR department is to offer HR-related support to all our businesses. This entails payroll administration, fleet management, and general administration. She continues: “The businesses that are part of the Broad Horizon Group often have different employee benefit conditions, workflows, and contracts. We will need to find the balance in both the autonomy of our businesses and the shared services we can offer them in relation to HR.” She continues by stipulating that each label has been appointed its own HR coordinator who supports the various businesses in the field of HR. 

What makes the Tech sector fascinating to work in?
For Emely it’s all about the people. She says: ”People working in tech are appreciative and smart individuals. They tend to be more introverted than the average employee, which makes it challenging at times when trying to assess their professional needs and aspirations, but I really respect the ‘don’t talk just act’ mentality and think that we can all learn from this type of approach.

The sky is the limit
When asking Emely about the importance of women in the tech industry, she does not see this as a goal as such. “Diversity should be found on all levels and in all industries. Women should not be appointed a job because of their gender, but because of their qualifications and the ability to get the job done. I truly believe that women are capable of everything, just like men.

Do you still encounter stigmas?
Yes, there are for sure certain stigmas that still require our attention. This explains that percentage-wise there are still fewer women that find their way into the tech industry or who consciously choose a high-tech profession. As a young woman, she herself does encounter doubts in a professional environment. “I’m aware that I have the right skills and expertise to be great at what I do professionally, but I do catch myself wondering from time to time how I can further enhance certain aspects of my job. I think that questioning one’s professional self-confidence will not be found by men to the same extent. Women should not put so much pressure on themselves and should trust their gut instincts when it comes to professional choices.” 

More women in Tech
I believe that female employees attract other female employees, so it’s a case of setting examples for younger generations and showing them that men and women alike can achieve what they want. Of course, home education and schools play an important role in this debate, but I think young girls can be inspired by seeing women like for example, Marilou Van Doorn (CEO at True) pursue a career in tech.

What are your professional ambitions?
While studying Emely did an internship in the UK and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to live and work abroad. “I would love to pursue my career on an international level in the future, as I’m fascinated by how other countries tackle HR-related issues, as this differs tremendously from country to country. I’m also very intrigued by the cultural differences that I encounter when working with other nationalities. This makes it very inspirational for me and that is why I would enjoy working abroad as an HR professional in the future.

And your ambitions on a more personal level?
For me, it is important to constantly develop as a person and to further enhance my personal and professional qualities to ultimately reach that level of confidence within myself. A personal goal of mine would be to give back to the community. Ideally, this would mean that I would stop working after the age of 40 and go and help the less fortunate in a developing country.” 

Who has had a strong influence on your professional choices?
First and foremost my mother has been a great example for me as I have always known her as a working mum, combining a job and the family and showing me that women can achieve a great deal professionally. Emely also mentions Kilian Wawoe as a person who has had a big influence on her career choices. Kilian Wawoe is a lecturer at the ‘Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’ at the Faculty of Behavioural & Movement Sciences and Organizational Psychology. ‘I was very fortunate to have him as my thesis supervisor during my studies. He not only helped me in writing my thesis regarding organizational psychology, but he was also very motivating in making sure I reached a certain level in my degree.’ This man has set the bar when it comes to new ways of rewarding employees and he is a well-known speaker on organizational psychology. I’m very grateful to have been able to work with him and gain his knowledge on these topics.” 

What’s your favourite quote?
‘Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid’ – Basil King. Emely believes that by taking chances and doing things outside of your comfort zone, unexpected things will come your way. She explains: “It can be quite daunting to try something new, but at the same time it can be pretty exciting. Always trust your gut feeling and believe in yourself, then things will come to a good end.