Today’s post comes from guest blogger Tony Totilo, a consultant based out of our Houston office.

I found a bench just outside one of the session rooms. I looked left. I looked right. I stopped, put on a curious smile, and wondered just why the heck everyone was so excited. Where was all this energy coming from, and what can I do to be part of it?

The Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference, hosted by the National Diversity Council, allows the opportunity for distinguished professionals to share perspectives, tools, and best practices for diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sessions were held in April to showcase executive level knowledge and experience on issues ranging from cultural intelligence, the LGBT community, and engaging a diverse workforce. This conference provided a new perspective on the changing workforce landscape and how to properly align internal initiatives with the strategic vision of the organization.

I attended sessions about developing your personal leadership competencies, managing a variety of diversity dimensions, and integrating those differences throughout the organization. I learned we need to rethink how we communicate, integrate, and anticipate the diversity of thought and engagement. This begins with each individual.  Once we change our awareness and attitudes towards the dynamics of diversity, our actions and behaviors will consequently evolve into a culture of inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion has become a prominent differentiator in many large organizations, and Capgemini is proud to be making strides to facilitate growing cultural compentencies across our workforce for the benefit of all Capgemini employees and our clients.  

How can we develop our cultural competence?

  1. Create an awareness: Understanding that differences in cultural, organizational, and personal identity characteristics exist all around you.
     
  2. Seek to understand: Every employee has a different story about who they are, where they are from, and where they are going. Asking open ended questions with genuine empathy encourages authenticity and mutual learning.
     
  3. Get involved: Engage with our teams, our leadership, and our available resources to continue developing our cultural competence.  Our 10 Employee Resource Groups representing Hispanics, veterans, and millennials, to name a few, provide networks to establish and maintain an environment of inclusion where all our people are free to share their unique talents for the benefit of the company, our employees, and our clients.
     

Diversity inspires creativity through enabling a respectful, accepting, and value driven environment.  This atmosphere is the result of the awareness, acknowledgment, and positive appreciation of the difference in everyone.  Rare is an experience where learning can be achieved with every waking moment.  I appreciate that I had the opportunity to be a part of this energy at the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference and excited to be a part of the working culture at Capgemini.