26 August 2020 at 9:00 am
Meet the Team: Fiona Cameron
Fiona is ENZ’s Director – People and Culture, Property and Legal. Alongside overseeing the wellbeing of ENZ’s 90-strong team spread over 16 countries, Fiona has had a major role shaping our staff culture and ways of working.
Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?
I’ve worked in a variety of roles in both the public sector and private companies. The role that has the most relevance to this one was at NZTE. I’ve also worked in quite a number of education agencies as a contractor, like NZQA, TEC and the Ministry of Education.
I have a Master of Arts (Hons) in French and English Literature, and went back to university as a mature student. I did a Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce and Commercial Law, as a lot of the work I was doing involved contracts.
The first time I studied I looked enviously at the mature students who, I assumed, were studying as a leisure activity. But that was really not the case; I would come home after working full-time and spend the evening studying.
What is the role of your team at ENZ, and how has it changed since the COVID-19 crisis began?
We’ve always had a big focus on wellbeing which is an integral part of our culture. That’s stood up really well during this time and we’re doing even more in this space now.
We were lucky that ENZ already had a really strong capability when it came to working from home. We had, for example, tested working from home (as part of an earthquake response) before the New Zealand lockdown and have continued to test and improve it since then.
How do you think the world of work has changed under the pandemic?
The world of work is never going to be the same after COVID-19.
We have a high level of trust with our staff, who didn’t blink when we asked them to work from home. I think that our people’s commitment and effort has been remarkable.
But I do think people are completely over the uncertainty. Obviously it’s really hard for us to give people a clear sense of what will happen. We grab onto something and then it changes underneath us; it’s exhausting.
How have you managed your wellbeing this year, Fiona?
I’m lucky, I’ve got a big garden that keeps me sane. This year I’ve taught myself to be more self-sufficient as a gardener. I’ve become much better at looking at what I have, rather than jumping in the car to go to the garden centre. I’ve replanted things and gone through the seeds I’ve got at home, rather than letting them go past their expiry date.
Flowers are my passion, but I grow vegetables too. I grow quite a lot of herbs. I love being able to go into the garden and pick something as I’m cooking.