Governing Body Spotlight
Co-Chair of the New York CHRO Community
International Flavors and Fragrances
Deborah Borg is the Chief HR & Communications Officer for Bunge (NYSE: BG), a $40 billion, 25,000 employee global agriculture and food company. In this role, Deborah leads all aspects of people culture and strategy. Prior to this role, Deborah worked for Dow Chemical for 15 years in a variety of HR and business leadership roles across Australia, Europe and the United States. She is a board member of SWM (NYSE: SWM).
Learn more about leaders of the New York CHRO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I always had a passion for business and people and found my way to HR after a high school career advisor introduced me to the idea. After starting my career in General Motors Australia, I moved to Dow Chemical, where I held a variety of generalist and COE HR roles and had the opportunity to live and work in Australia, Switzerland, and the United States. I also had the opportunity to move out of HR a few times in my career into operational and commercial roles – the most recent as the President of Dow Chemical US. I moved to Bunge in 2015 to take on my current role, which has been an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
Openness and transparency are a must. Be open and honest with those around you whether it be about a business issue or individual feedback.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CHRO going in the next 1-2 years?
Disruption offers tremendous opportunity. The role of the CHRO is getting more challenging and complex. Both operationally in how you run a large function and all the digital and disrupting technologies that can improve the candidate experience and what this means for driving technical and leadership capability across the organization to lead through disruption. The role of CHRO has always been very connected with the CEO and CFO, and now there are more and more interdependencies to other groups like sustainability, strategy, marketing, IT, investor relations. Relationship building and connecting the dots are integral capabilities for CHROs to have.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CHRO?
Taking time to build relationships with the board, and with those leaders and teams across the organization, is integral to the company’s strategy and can impact the employee experience.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
I am from a small island in the Mediterranean Sea called Malta, I am an avid cook, and I’m writing my first (fiction) book.
What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?
Evanta curates a professional community which has invaluable networking and learning opportunities. The CHRO role can be a lonely one, so it is very refreshing to be able to step back and hear the challenges and triumphs of others, share best practices, and get great advice from like-minded peers.
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