Capgemini recently sponsored the 12th Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference, hosted by the National Diversity Council (NDC). We are a member of the NDC, the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. The vision of the NDC is to cultivate a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance D&I by transforming workplaces and communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential. The mission of the NDC is to be both a resource and an advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion. The NDC fosters an understanding of diversity and inclusion as a dynamic strategy for business success and community well-being through various initiatives. Capgemini actively supports the NDC in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston and New York. Several Capgemini leaders and employees have attended and spoken at NDC leadership events.
The vision for the three-day conference was to afford organizations the opportunity to explore tools and resources necessary to build diverse workforces and remain competitive on the global stage. The event provided a valuable opportunity for individuals to network together and grow in their knowledge of diversity and leadership. The speakers and various panel sessions offered a unique perspective on various topics, including the creation of a diverse workforce, essential leadership skills, personal branding, and diversity and inclusion best practices.
Given the amount of information obtained from this conference, this will be the first of two blog posts to share the Capgemini experience from this event. Randy Zeinert, Vice President, and Janet Pope, NA Corporate Responsibility Leader, served as speakers at this conference. Several Capgemini employees from the Houston office, including Vanessa Barnhart, Client Partner for Energy & Utilities, attended different sessions at the event. In this article, I will share insights from Janet and Vanessa.
Janet contributed her expertise to a Diversity Best Practices Roundtable which was comprised of leaders from the corporate and academic sectors with a variety of experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Human Resources. The speakers shared a variety of best practices that gave the audience different types of takeaways. The panel also had a good rapport, which kept the audience engaged. The session was not only informative, but also fun. The best practice that Janet shared that seemed to garner the most interest and questions was around metrics. Explaining the value of using a blend of qualitative and quantitative internal (e.g., CEO and Employee Resource Group scorecards, parity measurement, engagement surveys, pipeline data) and external benchmarks (e.g., Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, EDGE, Mercer’s When Women Thrive, Diversity Best Practices Benchmarking Tool, Diversity Value Index), and sharing the resources related to these seemed very valuable to participants. Janet also walked away with knowledge of a best practice from academia related to the results a university has based on an awards program they host for faculty (execs), staff (employees), students (clients) and soon alumni (regretted leavers) that grew the value placed on D&I impact and contribution.
Vanessa enjoyed the session, “Preparing for Leadership: What does it take to take the lead?” Key learnings for Vanessa included:
- Leadership means authentic influence that creates value.
- Have a defined vision statement and set personal goals to achieve it.
- Always ask for what you want and look for opportunities to differentiate yourself.
- Work outside of your comfort zone.
- Always learn. Good leaders are always learning, always reading.
- Have a good mentor. Good leaders always have time to be a mentor!
- You don’t need to know the answer to each and every problem, but you need to ask the right questions to find the solution.
Stay tuned for another post about the 12th Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference.
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