Corporate Social Responsibility Assistant – Karolina Gosiewska

Name:

Karolina Gosiewska

Role:

Corporate Social Responsibility Officer

Company:

Hermès GB

Time with the company:

1.5 years

 

What is your morning routine?

Depending on how I feel in the morning and my energy levels, after I wake up I either go for a run, do a short yoga session or meditate for 10-15 min. Then I shower and start to get ready. I like to do it while listening to morning news. After a light breakfast, I jump on my bike and cycle to work – it takes me up to 20 min. I like to take my time in the morning and usually need around 1.5 hours to leave home.

How did you get the job / how did you become involved with the industry?

I spent majority of my career working in the fashion sector in many countries across the world. Eventually, recognizing the tremendous sustainability challenges the world is facing today and that a big chunk of the existing issues is caused by the fashion sector, I decided to use my experience to drive change from within the industry.

Starting with a small CSR project while in New York followed by studies on Business Sustainability Management at Cambridge University, I eventually moved back to Europe and started searching for opportunities in this sector.

As a huge admirer of luxury fashion houses with remarkable history and heritage, it was of course one of my dreams to work for the House of Hermès at some point in my career.

Thus, I emailed the HR Director at Hermès UK directly to flag my deep interest in aiding the subsidiary with their sustainability efforts should there be a need. As it turned out, the management was looking for someone for this role at that exact time. I suppose I was very fortunate!

What is your main responsibility?

I support the management with defining and implementing sustainability strategy in line with the guidance from the Group. My responsibilities include coordinating all projects related to sustainability and CSR across both environmental and social pillars. It is a role with rather broad scope which evolves over time with more aspects and responsibilities being constantly added as sustainability is a process and continuous work which can never really be fully achieved.

What is your typical day like?

One thing I really like about this job is that there is no typical day. I usually work on multiple projects simultaneously and while some of them can be completed in days, others stretch over months and require different level of attention each day. I get to work with all departments as well as store managers which is an incredible opportunity to get an insight into all of the company’s operations.

What’s the best part of your job?

The support and enthusiasm from the CFO who is my direct line manager. Using his authority, we are able to get people onboard, achieve set targets efficiently and the changes implemented are respected by everyone in the company. My work would be much harder and I would likely be able to do less without his and the rest of the management’s support.

What’s the worst part of your job?

Sometimes it does happen that the changes I am proposing meet resistance. However, every such challenge is a great learning and growth opportunity as it requires problem solving and working out compromises.

What’s your most memorable work moment?

There have been so many but I felt particularly grateful for what I do when we managed to implement real improvements in the environmental performance of the company, e.g. introducing 100% renewable energy, limiting single use plastic by introducing more sustainable packaging, improving recycling in stores, etc.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in the same profession?

This job requires a lot of persistence, creativity and problem solving so passion for it is essential. If you have it, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the companies you want to work for. Your enthusiasm and drive will be appreciated and will make you successful in your role.

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Dwayne Ferguson is the Digital Director at Outside The Box Recruitment. He is responsible for the website and all digital marketing campaigns.

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