Future leader: Ry Williams, Walkers Global

Williams: No two days are the same in HR
"Technology's insights can help create a more inclusive culture," said Williams

Ry Williams, HR manager at law firm Walkers Global, shares his vision for the future of the profession.

I fell into the world of HR. I completed a 10-week HR placement with the local financial regulator, which then secured me an 18-month trainee HR administrator contract alongside studying for my business degree. Since then, I have had a varied HR career spanning finance, retail, charity and legal sectors.

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Fast forward eight years, who knew I would be wearing so many hats: psychologist, event planner, researcher, peacemaker and lawyer. The variety gets me out of bed. No two days are the same in HR!

The rapid pace of technological change means that the skills needed yesterday may not suffice tomorrow. HR must lead the way in identifying skills gaps and providing learning and development opportunities to keep the workforce agile and competitive.

Over the next five years, several trends and areas are likely to become more important for HR. As AI and automation play larger roles in HR processes, ethical considerations around bias, transparency and job displacement will become increasingly important. HR will need to deepen its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Continuous learning and upskilling will become even more crucial. And HR will play a critical role in creating supportive environments that prioritise mental health.

While progress is being made, the goal of creating truly inclusive and equitable workplaces is an ongoing journey. I aim to tackle the challenges of eliminating bias, ensuring equal opportunities, and fostering environments where every employee feels valued and included.

AI and technology could be leveraged to contribute positively towards this work by monitoring workplace interactions. Feedback could then identify areas where diversity and inclusion efforts may be falling short. Those insights can help create a more inclusive culture.

My everyday priority is to support people’s physical, mental and emotional health. I will continue to influence leadership in building supportive policies and cultures.


This article was published in the March/April 2024 edition of HR magazine. 

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