Name: Vanessa Iezzi
Title: Head of People & Culture
Joined Willow: July 2019
Fun Facts: I am a huge foodie!
What does your role as Head of People & Culture involve?
As Head of People and Culture I oversee Willow’s People & Culture operations on a global scale. This involves developing the foundations of the “Willow Culture” and implementing a transformative People & Culture roadmap that will support rapid scaling of our people globally. Another key part of my job, which I love, is creating and promoting an amazing staff culture and building up the internal employer brand.
What is it about working with people that you really love?
I really enjoy building relationships with people and truly delving into what empowers people and how they work. Getting to know them, but also putting in place frameworks that help to develop them. This might involve creating a process that’s going to make a team more productive; or putting in a learning and development framework that’s going to help someone excel in their career. For me, I find this very fulfilling. You can sit back and think “Because of this process or framework that person was able to get from A to B with my help.” This is one of the main reasons I do what I do.
What led you to Willow?
Going back to what really makes me happy, I saw an opportunity to make a big change in the People & Culture space that would really make a difference and be part of something very exciting on a global scale.
What do you see as being key to a great company culture?
For me, a great culture is a place where they put their people first. It is having a talented workplace where all staff are consistently living and breathing the values whilst also having a great people experience in place. It is also something I believe that you can only create within your business and your business alone. You cannot replicate what other companies are doing. You must form your own culture which will ultimately be the success behind your business. If companies get that right, their people will feel more empowered and happier and ultimately be more productive. I also think it’s important to have a very strong people development strategy where there is strong buy-in from the leadership team to develop and invest in their people. Employees will more likely have a strong commitment and affiliation to the company and will get behind the company’s vision when they feel valued. Lastly, I believe your external brand should reflect your internal brand.
What is your vision for Willow?
My vision is to build a strong global people strategy that all leaders wholeheartedly support, and all people within Willow live and breathe. I want the external brand to match the internal brand making Willow the company people are lining up to work for. This is something I am very excited to build, and I look forward to sitting back and watching the team flourish globally.