What makes working at CBS so enjoyable are the people.

Ellen - Director of Demographic and Socioeconomic Statistics
Arbeidsmarktcampagne met CBS-medewerker Ellen van Berkel with her pigs
© Marco De Swart
I started working at CBS in 2017 and as of August 2019 I am Director of Demographic and Socio-economic Statistics. CBS is not my first employer. After studying chemistry and a PhD, both at Leiden University, I first did a postdoc in Italy as an extension of my PhD.
I soon discovered that my heart was not in pure science, but in a combination of research and practice. That I enjoy science is shown by the fact that all my employers had some kind of scientific or research component. I’ve had the opportunity to work for several other wonderful organisations at the intersection of science. The NFI (Netherlands Forensic Institute), Kiwa Water Research, which is the research institute for the Dutch Drinking Water Companies, and before that at TNO. After ten years at NFI, I was looking for a new challenge and I found it at CBS.

What makes working at CBS so enjoyable are the people. The professionals, the drive, the enthusiasm and the relevance of what we do. The social commitment, that is the common thread that attracts me. I’m also a people person. Always curious about what drives people, what they are good at and what makes them happy. I’m a connector and make sure there is a connection between the various teams within my sector and beyond. Within our sector, we work on great projects such as population forecasts, the Census, the Pay Gap Monitor, the Civic Integration Act and statistics on migration and integration, social security and the labour market.

In addition, CBS offers plenty of opportunities for development, at least if you are open to it yourself. It is not handed to you, you have to do something for it yourself. CBS has the CBS Academy where you can follow both personal and professional training courses. Knowledge is also transferred among and by our own staff. We are a learning organisation. To me, that means being open to new things, helping each other and reflecting. Reflecting on yourself, but also reflecting as an organisation. Giving feedback, being open with each other and working together.

Then, after a full day at the office, it is wonderful to clear my head in my garden and amongst my animals. What started out with two goats has now become a cosy bunch of animals, including two Kunekune pigs. Just working in the earth or emptying a pen. Just being busy with my animals, that is my passion.