The Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) has honored Capgemini for our innovation through diversity practices. The CCDI recognized Capgemini for embedding diversity and inclusion into our corporate DNA, with emphasis on our focus to innovate in how we empower and grow the number of women in leadership.
The cornerstone of Capgemini’s innovation agenda to support our pipeline of female leadership is the Women Leadership Development Program (WLDP) – now in its 9th year. Capgemini developed WLDP as a three-month immersive experience designed to provide training, mentoring, career objective-setting and outside coaching to high-performing and high-potential women in our North American business. The program is fueling the number of women on our internal leadership track and also is having a positive impact on retention – 17% higher than our average rate of retention for all employees, and 22% higher than retention rate for all women.
The WLDP experience is anchored around 2 major objectives: to help women move into leadership positions by connecting them to learning opportunities from internal and external experts, and to increase the retention and attraction of high-potential women to Capgemini.
Course topics include:
- Presentation skill development & practice
- DISC Assessment
- Leadership Plan
- “Take control of your Career” / Promotion Process
- Relationship Awareness & Development
- 360 Degree Feedback
- Leadership Plan
- Critical Conversations
- Personal Branding
- Final Presentation with Executive Leadership
As part of the WLDP program, Capgemini supports candidates coming out of the program by proactively searching for advancement opportunities. WLDP also works to identify and spotlight promising female leaders internally throughout the business and externally to build their professional networks. Since its inception, half of the women that have completed the WLDP program have been successfully promoted to the next level in Capgemini. The executive skills and confidence gained during WLDP are often quoted by the women as key to their success.
WLDP matches every participant with an executive sponsor who supports her during and after the program. The sponsor meets with the participant 1 hour per month to provide one-on-one coaching on:
- Growing and developing her career
- Identifying opportunities to become more well-rounded in the business
- Charting personal advancement
Program participants cited the most valuable benefits of the program as:
- Exposure to other senior leaders
- Networking with women from other Business Units
- Feeling a part of “something bigger” at Capgemini
(One of the Capgemini WLDP Classes for H1-2016)
WLDP continues to make a strong impact on our development of women leaders. Wendy Walker, Executive Program Manager for NA Sales & Markets and WLDP Alumna shares the following about her experience in the program, “My self-awareness, network and appreciation for broader Capgemini grew tremendously through the Women’s Leadership Development Program (WLDP). Prior to being nominated for the program, I had been leading delivery of application services at a single account for my entire tenure at Capgemini (12 years), without much visibility into the larger firm. Through the WLDP program, not only was I introduced to other women leaders serving in various roles across Apps North America, but I was also introduced to key executive leadership across Capgemini as a whole. The relationships built and the mentorship I benefited from, as part of WLDP, enabled greater insight into my strengths through 360 feedback, clearer understanding of Capgemini’s aim to invest and develop its people, and fostered opportunity for me to explore new career avenues within the company. Within several months of completing WLDP, I took advantage of an opportunity to transition from a Delivery Manager role working exclusively on one account, to a Senior Sales Manager role driving Apps NA strategic sales initiatives across numerous sectors and accounts. It is difficult to completely convey the net impact Capgemini’s WLDP has had on my personal career development. Simplest way to frame the lasting effect for me personally is through the word “community”. I now belong to a community that sees the value of promoting and developing future women leaders to thrive within the firm.”
On August 11th, Capgemini was afforded the opportunity to share best practice information related to our WLDP program at the Diversity Best Practice Member Conference. The theme of this conference was – Let’s Talk Talent: Examining the Talent Lifecycle through a D&I Lens. Conference topics included:
- Recruitment and On-Boarding Best Practices – First Impressions Matter
- Envisioning New Approaches to Inclusive Talent Development
- Managing Bias in the Talent Lifecycle
I had the honor of presenting with Kate Savage, Capgemini VP of People Supply Chain. Our session was: Envisioning New Approaches to Inclusive Talent Development. The goal of the session was to review development and advancement of talent needs to be strategically approached and linked to needed sustainable individual, team and business goals. Along with a representative from Johnson & Johnson, we discussed WLDP components including the curriculum, mentorship/sponsorship, personal accountability and executive coaching.
By sharing this information with other business leaders, it is our hope that other organizations can learn from Capgemini’s efforts to invest in top, diverse talent.
Capgemini values our partnership with Diversity Best Practices (DBP). Diversity Best Practices, a division of Working Mother Media, is the preeminent organization for mid to large size organizational diversity thought leaders to share best practices and develop innovative solutions for culture change. Through research, resources, benchmarking, publications and events, Diversity Best Practices offers organizational members information and strategies on how to implement, grow, measure and create first-in-class diversity programs.
For more information about Capgemini NA’s Employee Resource Groups, contact Yvonne Harris, Assistant Director for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) and Project Manager for Diversity & Inclusion. You can email Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @ynharris.
More about article contributor, Wendy Walker:
Wendy Walker is a thriving Senior Sales Manager at Capgemini. During her 15 year tenure, she has held various leadership positions in both Delivery and Sales capacities. She currently functions in the role of Executive Program Manager (EPM) for Apps North America Sales & Markets. As such, Wendy is responsible for managing numerous mission critical Sales & Markets initiatives, driving Go To Market awareness and engagement, and instituting rigor across the Apps NA Go to Market (GTM) organization. She has a keen focus on impacting Capgemini business through strategic sales initiatives and has been a key leader in GTM Integration activities tied to the company’s recent IGATE acquisition.
Wendy holds a MIS degree from Texas A&M University at College Station. She is a certified Project Management Professional with PMI who has led workshops on leadership and has facilitated numerous ITIL certification courses.
Wendy is married to her college sweetheart with two children. She is active in her community, focusing on developing youth for leadership. She loves to sing and is a vocalist/leader at her local church.