Adriana Colossio / Head of Operations Exams, Brazil

What British Council behaviour(s) do you feel more identified with?

Behaviours and Values define the personality of an organization and I am glad to work in a place where I feel strongly identified with all of them.  I have always thought that the one behaviour I most identify with is “Being Accountable”. I truly believe I am resilient and determined enough to hold myself and my team responsible for delivering in line with the shared purpose of the British Council.

Most recently, though, in times of new challenges that all of us are facing around the globe, I discovered that “Working Together” is also one strength my team and I have. It´s pleasantly surprising that we are finding new ways of working even better together, by agreeing effective and respectful ways of sharing responsibilities, generating mutual support, promoting interdependence and sharing successes.

What would you like to share about your work, area and/or yourself?

Although I work in Exams, which is a strong commercial branch of the British Council, and that I like this more aggressive way of working to deliver targets, income and generate surplus, I am also very interested in Human Resources, how people behave, how we can make the most of leadership skills and how we learn and develop talents in other people.

Recently, I participated in the Aspire Programme for Exams Leads with colleagues from 11 different countries and my work-based project was around how effective relationships and leadership can be when it comes to remote working. We know that it´s very common in the organization to be part of teams with people based in different countries. This is challenging but exciting at the same time if we know how to deal with this distance and if we are able to build trust.

It has been a fantastic experience which helped me learn and improve my own competencies as a leader and as a person.

What would you like for external people to know about the British Council's EDI policy?

First, I´d like external people to know what our commitments are related to the EDI Policy:

• understanding, valuing and working constructively with diversity to enable fair and full participation in our work and activities; 

• ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination in our recruitment, selection, performance management and other processes; 

• ensuring action that promotes equality; this includes conducting equality screening and impact assessments of policies and functions and progressing diversity action plans; 

• treating individuals with whom we work with fairness, dignity and respect; 

• playing our part in removing barriers and redressing imbalances caused by inequality and unjustified discrimination.

Most of all, I´d like externals to know what the most important of these principles is to me, that is “treating individuals with whom we work with fairness, dignity and respect.”. In my view, this one pretty much summarizes not only all the other aspects of commitments but also guides our values and behaviours. And, to me, this is huge! And it is also evidence that I chose the right place to work.

What is the benefit that you like or enjoy the most within our organization?

For me, what I most value within our organization are the opportunities I have everyday to learn with people that think differently from me, that are from other cultures and who are proud of this. Not to mention how I feel respected here.

What do you hope to develop personally or professionally in the next year?

I am taking up a new role now as Head of Operations in Exams, part of the new Organizational Design in the area. So, I hope to deliver projects and bring innovations to the area, becoming then, a specialist in operations and contributing to the sustainability of the business in the region.

Also, I want to improve my knowledge and competencies in Learning & Development, so that I can be better able to help my team and colleagues to develop their talents.

If you could thank a team or a person from the British Council through a message, to whom would you send it to and what would you like to say?

I must confess it is really difficult to name one person or one team. I´ve met so many interesting, remarkable and strong people since I started here that it would be unfair if I mentione some and not others. I´ve had colleagues in Exams and in other areas that had a decisive and huge contribution for me to become who I am now and I am sure they know who they are. Here, I feel valued and respected and they have been essential to me.