Kim Schmidt


Kim Schmidt
CEW Member

Grant Thornton Australia
Director People & Culture

Kim Schmidt is an experienced executive who has held senior leadership roles in both Australia and South Africa, most recently as the Director of People & Culture at Grant Thornton Australia. In this role, Kim drives people and culture processes and practices to maximise the firm’s ability to attract, select, induct, performance manage, develop, reward and retain best fit people. She supports Business Unit Leaders and Partners to improve their leadership effectiveness, leads initiatives including ‘Partners as Strategic Advisors’ and ‘Inspiring Workplace’, and drives a culture of high performance and engagement.

In her role as Human Resource Director at Woolworths, Kim was a member of the management board, a trusted advisor for the CEO, Board and the senior leadership team, playing a key role in shaping the company culture. Kim was responsible for; all strategic aspects of the Group’s human capital activity, including the development and deployment of the Group’s executive talent; all large scale change, organisational restructures and culture transformation programs. This role covered the broad spectrum of human resource disciplines, including Performance and Rewards, Industrial Relations, and Health and Safety for the Group for more than 190,000 employees across Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong and China.

Kim was a key driver of the Diversity agenda at Woolworths, which led to the delivery of flexible working principles, mentoring programs, implementation of paid maternity leave and management job share initiatives. She has been influential in encouraging leaders to support the career progression and retention of women, growing the number of women in executive roles substantially. This was recognised when Kim was awarded the ‘Diversity Leader for the Advancement of Women’ as part of the 2009 EOWA Business Achievement Awards.

Kim joined Woolworths in 2000 as the General Manager of Human Resources for BIG W, after emigrating from South Africa. She started her career in retail as a management graduate progressing into management and executive roles across a broad range of areas, including Corporate Community affairs, Diversity Culture and Change, Leadership Development Training and Succession and Productivity Planning.

Kim then established her own consulting business working with a number of industry sectors including Oil, the Automotive industry, Insurance and quasi-government organisations. Kim specialised in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, concentrating on people and the organisation’s culture, to enable clients to deliver large scale change to their organisations during the nation-wide transformational process in South Africa.

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