HR professionals are frontline for change

It’s a tough time for HR managers and business leaders but standing true to values will always see an organisation and its individuals through.

That’s the advice from lawyer, author, humanitarian and hostage survivor Rabia Siddique, who will inspire and inform at this year’s CCI HR conference themed “Post Boom Reboot”.

Siddique, a former war crimes prosecutor who famously survived a hostage situation in Iraq in 2005, is more than qualified to discuss the human response to the workforce.

She will draw on her personal experience to explore the theme of ‘finding your voice’ to inspire HR professions to shine as leaders within their organisations.

“I am going to use part of my personal story, I believe very much in the power of the story, to communicate my message and as a vehicle to shine a light on a number of themes,” she says.

“Some of those themes are the importance of identifying what our values are, committing to living a life in harmony with those values and choosing to embrace our capacity to affect change where change is very much needed.

“Hopefully what will resonate with the HR professionals in the room is that they are part of the leadership team in their organisation and part of their role and responsibility is to set the tone. Many people look to them; what a privilege but responsibility that is.”

Siddique says the people within an organisation are its most valuable asset.

“It sounds like a no brainer but if we don’t treat our people well then really that’s the beginning of the end of our organisations; that’s how we build sustainable, efficient, effective organisations,” she says.

“We’ve heard business cases, we’ve seen research, we’ve read countless stories about the importance of embracing diversity at the decision-making level in organisations and how economically that’s been proven to make sense.

“Better decisions come when you have more people from different backgrounds at the table having input into decisions and being leaders and role models.”

Siddique’s top three ways of finding your voice in an organisation:

  1. Be clear about the organisation’s values
  2. Commit to leading and operating with those values and living them everyday as part of the culture
  3. Be brave as an organisation and being prepared to do the uncomfortable when it’s needed, such as calling out practices that haven’t served people well and making decisions to tread a new path.


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