Global HR Director

Rebecca Oldfield
Joined Infineum in 2000

One of the great things about Infineum is that it uses its size as a strength. We are a business of approximately 1,900 people, which is smaller than most in our industry, but it is very much a global business that allows its colleagues to have real impact.

Today, the business is even more global than when I joined seventeen years ago. We have adapted to what our customers need and how the market is behaving. We have progressed as a more diverse organisation in terms of geographies, gender and culture.

I think it’s the size of Infineum alongside our culture of genuine care for our employees that makes this business unusual and special.

We place a high importance on personal development and training, with many processes and initiatives in place that allow colleagues to learn new skills and knowledge, and which provide feedback for us on our strengths to nurture and develop, and areas where we need to improve.

As part of this focus on personal development, mentoring and direct access to leaders within the business is also a great feature of Infineum’s culture. I mentor people in different countries who are seeking guidance on a variety of different subjects, and I find it a particularly rewarding part of my job to contribute to their growth and career development.

The opportunities for career progression are huge at Infineum. If you come into the company with a technical background, it doesn’t mean that a future in sales or supply or another business function isn’t possible. I have seen throughout my time at Infineum that a multi-functional career path is possible if that is of interest to you.

Equally, if you’re looking to push yourself out of your comfort zone, there is plenty of support provided to help you do that. I found myself running my own business unit within 9 years of joining the organisation; a great example of Infineum supporting me to build on my technical knowledge and develop greater commercial acumen.

I would say that over the course of my career at Infineum to date, I have learnt how to recognise my strengths and been given the opportunities to build on what I do best. I have also learnt to identify the things I don’t do so well, and develop ways to minimise the impact of these on me, and others!

  • Year

    Position

  • Completed a PhD in Material Science at Cambridge and moved into a Technologist role

  • Moved to the US, Technologist in Transmission Fluids

  • Returned to UK, Team Leader in Transmission Fluids

  • Technology Group Leader, Engine Oils

  • Global Portfolio Manager, Viscosity Modifiers

  • Supply Strategic Planning Manager

  • EMEA Sales Director

  • Global Account Executive, Sales

  • Global HR Director

Typical day at Infineum

This is a tough question, as I don’t even have a typical desk these days, let alone a typical day at work.  We are an agile, collaborative organisation spanning multiple countries, so my days are varied and exciting, and I am rarely doing the same thing two days running. 

As I write this, I am preparing for a Board meeting.  Yesterday, I was evaluating benefit plans, and next week I am discussing how we continue to develop and grow our future leaders.  Last week, I gave a site-wide presentation on how our business is progressing this year so that all colleagues have the opportunity to understand how their work is contributing to our results, and I hosted a leaving lunch for a colleague.  When I get back from my Board meeting, I will be spending time with my HR team to continue our discussion on how we position HR to best support Infineum’s business strategy, now and in the future. 

There’s never a dull moment, I can assure you! 

What would you look for in a potential Infineum candidate?

There are certain raw skills that we generally look for in any candidate, which are:

  • Ability to analyse complex issues
  • Ability to collaborate and work for the team
  • A level of resilience and ability to manage setbacks

My one piece of advice for someone looking to join Infineum

Go for it!

Infineum is a small yet global, open and inclusive organisation that offers a huge amount of opportunity and allows everyone with the capability to excel to do so.  You will have the chance to make a real difference and to see the value in your contribution every day.

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