Thrive: Tell us about a female leader or mentor who inspired you in your life/career.

Daniela Seabrook: I grew up as an immigrant (my parents fled the communist regime in Czechoslovakia) in Switzerland at a time when mothers typically didn’t work. My mother worked throughout my childhood and often experienced bias from the community — at times hearing ‘nothing good will come out of these girls because the mother is working.’ She managed to work and take care of family duties in a time when aftercare support was not available. The influence on me and my sister was the belief that combining family and work is possible and that you can create enduring family bonds with two working parents. My sister is an entrepreneur with incredible work stamina and passion for what she does, I admire her and what she has achieved tremendously. My mother and my sister have been an inspiration to me throughout my life. 

Thrive: What’s your favorite leadership mantra or lesson and how do you practice it?

DS: You can only contribute at your best when you are at your best. This means knowing your boundaries, listening to your body and mind, and taking time to recharge. Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all different and have different levels of energy and capacity. If you know your limits and take a step back when you are approaching them, then you will be able to contribute at your best. 

Thrive: What advice would you give your younger self?

DS: Make bolder choices and be less concerned about what others think!

Thrive: How can workplaces help break the bias and promote gender equality?

DS: Language in many respects shapes our world. By being mindful of the language we use in our workplaces, we contribute towards an inclusive environment. We use language like ‘war rooms’ and ‘fighting for results,’ to name a few. This is male-oriented language. When we use neutral language, we create a more inclusive environment for everyone to contribute.

Secondly, in our workplaces, we still see that many women do not feel comfortable speaking up when they see behavior that is not inclusive or even transgressive. As leaders, we need to foster a safe and inclusive culture where speaking up is encouraged. As women, we need to be bold and ask for what we need to do our best work, whether this is a hybrid working arrangement or lessened hours.

Thrive: What’s important in your life outside of work? What helps you thrive? With a demanding schedule, how do you make time for these important things?

DS: Spending time with those I care for is essential to my well-being, whether it’s with my husband and my teenage son, or other family members and friends. My evening walk with my dog and doing Pilates also brings balance to my busy days. I have learned to read my own signs when work or life gets too busy. I consciously take the time I need to recharge. 


  • Daniela Seabrook is Philips Chief Human Resources Officer. Daniela is focused on building Philips as the best place to work - promoting personal development, well-being, inclusion and diversity. Under Daniela’s leadership key initiatives such as a refreshed approach to performance management and Philips’ approach to hybrid working have been launched. Daniela is the Chair of the Philips Global Diversity council and plays an active role in the Senior Leadership Women Committee.    Before joining Philips, Daniela was the Group Head People and Organizational Development at global agriculture company Syngenta where she led a global team overseeing people practices and human capital.   Daniela reflects: “You need to always ask yourself: how are we making an impact, does this help us bring better solutions to our customers? An effective people strategy must focus on what really makes a difference and enables a culture and environment where people can strive for success. Doing this in a purpose-driven organization with the goal to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people per year by 2030, is truly inspiring.”   Daniela holds a PhD in organizational psychology and change management and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Basel. She lives in Aalsmeer with her husband and son. As a courageous, team oriented and purpose driven optimist, she directs with respect and has an achiever mind. Away from work, Daniela loves to spend time with her family and friends. She also enjoys Pilates, modern art, reading and outdoor activities.