Schneider Electric Chief HR Officer Charise Le discusses her career and what it takes to be a part of the Schneider Electric family


Introducing Schneider Electric’s Chief HR Officer, Charise Le

Introducing Schneider Electric’s Chief HR Officer, Charise Le

 June 25, 2020

Charise Le is Schneider Electric’s newly appointed Chief HR Officer (CHRO).

Charise discusses her career, what she hopes to see in Schneider Electric's future, and what it takes to be a part of the Schneider Electric family.


A 15-year journey at Schneider Electric

Charise le, CHRO

Charise joined Schneider Electric via Clipsal that was integrated into the Schneider Electric family. After that, Charise moved to Hong Kong where she led HR for Asia Pacific in the Life Space business. It was her first time in a regional role.

" I learned a lot from this experience and after 2.5 years I got a call asking if I was willing to lead China’s HR function," explains Charise. "It was a big role and of course, I said 'let me try it out'. I spent almost 6 years as the country HR leader in China, after which I moved to lead global HR Services and Strategy for 5 years and that lead me to becoming the CHRO of the company earlier this year."

Charise Le

Taking on new challenges

Charise never dreamed of becoming Schneider Electric's CHRO, but she is always willing to take on new challenges.

She summarizes the key reasons she took on the CHRO position:

  • The company made an investment in her and took a chance by continuously stretching her in different roles, providing Charise with different experiences such as new company acquisitions, commercial knowledge, leading a country, R&D, transformation, people strategy, influence leadership, and more. That provided her with a well-rounded profile that helped her secure the position.
     
  • Schneider Electric as a company truly believes in Diversity & Inclusion and walks the talk on its multi-hub strategy and promoting women into leadership roles.
     
  • Her mentors have provided Charise with useful feedback and have coached her on how she can continue to improve.

CHRO, Schneider Electric

Leading in challenging times

"When I received the call from Jean-Pascal, our CEO, saying that he wanted me to be CHRO of the company, I was of course flattered to have been considered," recalls Charise. "I started to feel very excited and then, soon after, this feeling changed to stress. This was back in February when the COVID-19 pandemic had already taken over China, but wasn't global yet. I was still excited because it's a great role and an opportunity to learn and I knew that I had the support of our top-notch HR community. Our model enabled us to make quick and agile decisions, although not always seamless. Even though it still is a very stressful time, I feel privileged to count on the support of so many people."

Growth and change at Schneider Electric

"Schneider has changed and evolved in many aspects especially from a business and company culture perspective," says Charise.

"From a business perspective, 15 years ago we were purely a products company. Now we’ve complemented these great products with solutions, services, software, and more and more digital. We've made a huge transformation in our business. From a cultural perspective, our commitment to diversity is certainly something that we not only put on paper but is very visible in every corner of our organization. That has changed the face and core of our culture."

Charise Le, CHRO, Schneider Electric

Connecting with Schneider Electric's employer value proposition

All three pillars of Schneider Electric's employer value proposition (EVP) - Meaningful, Inclusive, Empowered - are at the heart of what makes Schneider Electric a great company. "If I were to choose only one with which I connect most, I would say ‘Empowered’. We’re going to continue facing this new normal, where every country’s situation is different, and I truly believe that what makes us resilient and able to cope with this crisis is empowerment. Globally and locally, we are empowered to make decisions. And this pandemic has been a real test of trust within the organization and it has shown that empowerment is part of our DNA and we need to continue to strengthen it," says Charise.

Empowering employees at Schneider Electric

"When I say empowerment, that doesn’t mean that anyone can do whatever they want," says Charise. "Every company tries to balance empowerment and governance. We must evaluate the impact of our decisions. We must trust people to use their judgment. After all, ‘Use your judgment’ is one of our leadership expectations. As a company, we also need to continuously revisit some of our processes, protocols, and governance. This crisis has shown us that we cannot predict every possible future scenario, but what we can do is learn, reflect, and simplify processes. This will certainly empower our field and customer-facing colleagues to make well-balanced decisions. And it will push more people to become more comfortable with being empowered to make these decisions."

Charise Le, CHRO of Schneider Electric

A positive future outlook for Schneider Electric

"We are in a great industry where we can truly solve the energy paradox by helping our customers be more efficient, while respecting sustainability and our environment," explains Charise. "From a business perspective, I see us continuing to evolve in driving digital transformation and leveraging technology to be more innovative for our customers. The world is becoming more digital and I believe we are in a business where we can continue to enable our customers. There is a lot of uncertainty of course, but that is why we must do it right and continue to improve our model."

Charise's priorities as Schneider Electric's CHRO

For Charise, being the company's CHRO is all about culture and talent. From a cultural perspective, she wants to continue the company's focus on building a culture that is innovative and inclusive.

"Championing a culture of diversity and high performance is crucial – if we do so, Schneider wins and we all do. We are always working to strengthen this." she says.

"When it comes to talent, we need to strengthen our multi-hub strategy and achieve empowerment for all. People need to know the business, know the market, and use their knowledge and experience to make decisions. We need to take more risks on people because the workforce of the future is likely to look different. We must take more risks and build the future. We are in an open talent market where expectations of employees may change but the need to make one’s own career choices will not. As a company, we will continue to support an environment where working from home, remote working, empowering our people to be innovative, and delivering high performance is key."

Schneider Electric Diversity celebration

Advice for women interested in working at Schneider Electric

"If you are interested in joining a high performing team and if our core values are aligned to yours, you should join us," suggests Charise.

"We want to build Schneider’s future with colleagues who feel comfortable with being empowered and using their best judgment. Colleagues who continue to #LearnEveryDay, dare to disrupt and be innovative."

Charise's proudest moment at Schneider Electric

One of the proudest moments at Schneider Electric for Charise was at the very beginning of her tenure. In the first month that she joined the company, she we had to make many tough decisions including right-sizing the business in order to protect it and turn it around. Within three months, she had helped to rebuild the strategy and reimagine the future, and after 2 years the company celebrated doubling the business in size. This was one of Charise's proudest moments at Schneider Electric and there was a lot of recognition and celebration of the team’s collective success.

"It’s great to embark on a transformation and see successes in the short and long runs," says Charise.


Consider working for Schneider Electric

Take a look at Schneider Electric's job vacancies arond the world and explore the wide range of rewarding career prospects on offer to talented women.  

 

Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:


  Facebook      Instagram      Twitter      Linkedin      Press release 

Join our women's careers community