Meet the new board member: Marlou Leenders from Randstad

Randstad is the global leader in the HR services industry. They help people to find jobs and shape their careers through innovative solutions and services. They operate in over 38 countries with over 40 thousand employees.

Marlou Leenders, the new board member of Global Compact Network Netherlands, is the Global Head of Sustainability at Randstad. In her role, she is responsible for the overarching sustainability strategy. With KPIs and target planning, her goal is to help Randstad contribute to a more positive society with their services.

Marlou Leenders

Marlou Leenders

Global Head of Sustainability, Randstad Group

Randstad and their sustainability journey

Randstad joined UN Global Compact in 2005. Since then, they have continued their partnership with the hopes of solving global challenges through systemic approaches. Companies must collaborate with other organizations, governments, NGOs, and various stakeholders to achieve these goals.

“UN Global Compact is valuable in bringing different parties together. As a global organization, they share a similar approach that aligns with our global vs. local approach, where our companies can focus on global themes while working towards local challenges.”

Randstad focuses on 5 SDGs: 4- Quality Education; 5- Gender Equality; 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth; 10- Reduced Inequalities and 13- Climate Action. Their main contribution lies in SDG 8, where they can help society thrive by bringing people to the right jobs and jobs to the right people. In doing so, they can promote inclusivity within the recruitment process.

Leenders chooses to focus on 5 of the 17 SDGs. Although they are all important, specialization is the best way to make the most impact. At Randstad, Leenders finds it counterproductive to take on more SDGs that are not within the focus of Randstad already. By matching Randstad’s KPIs to UN Global Compact’s Principles, they can elevate their impact and become the global leaders for those 5 SDGs.

“Don’t wait, and don’t ask for permission.”

Leenders her advice to other professionals is: “Don’t wait and don’t ask for permission. Just go. Everybody can make an impact and be sustainable, no matter what kind of job We need everyone. We don’t need more sustainability managers, but we need good sustainable procurement officers, accounting personnel for ESG reporting, and facility managers to help make buildings more sustainable. Find the sustainability angle within your role and find like-minded people to create a snowball effect. Find people who are just as motivated, and then start from there.”

Leenders’ personal sustainability journey

Leenders feels the need to help individuals on a personal level. Through their partnership with Tent, Leenders is a mentor for a refugee from Turkey. She helps her navigate through the Dutch labor market, specifically on the mentee’s needs, for example, how the interview process works in the Netherlands and how firm your handshake should be. This mentorship allows Leenders to connect with the mentee and learn about her stories, strengths, and difficulties she has faced in their life.