Get the Future you want is the tagline that underlines Capgemini’s global values. It is hard to imagine how that can be realised in numerous countries across the globe and how this is driving diversity & inclusion to new levels here in Australia, so we asked the team.
It is underpinned by the Global Gender equity Index a measure which provides a baseline for Capgemini to overachieve against. It enables each country to measure up to the standards required within the country and provides a roadmap of what needs to be worked on and changed. For instance, when first introduced in Australia the Capgemini standard of equal pay was evident but not embedded in all the relevant policies and procedures.
The vision of getting the future you want means that each employee is responsible for driving their own career. At any stage, they can submit a business case for promotion. One of the gender issues that was highlighted was that women do not go for promotions unless they tick all the boxes, this meant that many were holding back. To overcome this the company-initiated training & support to encourage women to “lean-in to discomfort and take risks”. Today, this has seen a vast improvement in the number of women progressing.
Janani D’ Silva, who has been with Capgemini for thirteen years and the tech industry for 22 years has seen the evolution within the company. She is Head of Culture, Engagement, and Early Careers. She fell into her current role through the work and results she was achieving, but she says had it been advertised with a full description online, she wouldn’t have applied, thinking she wouldn’t be able to do it because she has a young family. With encouragement and role models such as her manager, the HR Director for AUNZ – Maria Dimopoulos, and the AUNZ MD, Kaylene O’Brien, she took the job and thrives in this space, despite her initial concerns. Today she is an amazing role model for flexibility and getting the future you want. Working hybrid with no stipulation on mandatory days in the office, she’s able to work the needs of her work and family’s needs, delivering to the demands of her multifaceted role. She says women can indeed have it all, it comes down to letting your feet do the talking and finding an employer that is truly committed to breaking systemic constructs of what a workplace needs to be like and relegating the ‘9-5 in the office’ workday to the past.
Another benefit of getting the future you want is the company’s attitude to flexibility and family allowing many team members to work from home or work compressed hours to maintain the balance they want. Caitlin Spence who leads the Women at Capgemini groups works a 4-day week; it is compressed to allow her the time to look after her family.
Capgemini is like other tech-based businesses facing an ongoing shortage of training women. In an effort to improve this, the company has developed an initiative, Relaunch, to help women, women with a trans experience and nonbinary people who wish to transition into Technology Consulting or are returning from a Career Break. If they have any skills even up to 10 years in the past, they will be eligible. It is an intense 3 months of upskilling in new technology & business processes; followed by a week of shadowing. To date, 17 women have completed the program and have been employed back into similar roles. One candidate almost did not apply because “I felt obsolete after just one year out of the tech industry, so I think my biggest challenge was the fear that even if I re-skilled I would still be considered unemployable.”
They offer an award-winning graduate program that is known for recruiting a gender-balanced intake. When asked, Janani D’Silva explains that they do not use a quota system mandating a certain number of female hires, instead, they have ‘targets with bite’, provide unconscious bias training, ensure a gender-balanced interview panel, and education for interviewers to not look for culture fit, but for culture add, challenge their beliefs on what ‘good’ looks like and know that diversity of thinking and backgrounds is critical to the successful tech solutions they as teams co-create with clients.
To help individuals have the working environment they need the team at Capgemini is thinking of everything. They want all their team members to feel safe, valued and respected. What does this really mean? Most offices offer a combination of non-gender bathrooms, breastfeeding rooms and faith rooms. To accommodate the new hybrid work they have collaboration spaces and quiet workspaces, private offices and open areas.
For those individuals going through a gender change, they are given additional leave to allow them time off, their team members are trained to be respectful and they are gifted $2000 to spend on a new wardrobe.
It would seem like they have all bases covered. However, the team see it as a work in progress with baby steps to try out new initiatives to ensure the whole team feel safe and respected. They still need to drive gender equity to balance the number of female mid-level leaders but with the Gender Equity Index data, their vision and processes, there is no doubt that they are well on their way to success.
If you would like to learn more about the other finalists then click this link.