After eleven years of my career in France and Morocco, as an IT professional, I joined Capgemini which is one of the leading IT companies in Casablanca. I joined in 2011 as an Engagement Manager and in 2013 I was promoted to Shared Services Factory Manager within the Industrialization and Transformation Program at Capgemini. Through this role I had the pleasure to manage teams in Morocco and India to serve customers in Europe.
When I started my career I was surprised to discover that there were very few women working in the IT sector. Many times while working on an assignment I used to observe that I was the only woman in the team. Over a period of time I realized that a team with diverse mix of gender and nationality proved to be a real asset since it modifies the atmosphere of work, improves the relationship with the client and builds a team with complementary skills.
There is still a huge gap when it comes to gender equality across the Globe. I observed a similar scenario in Morocco and being aware of the gap since my younger days, the slow pace with which we are moving forward makes me indignant.
Though we have come a long way but still women around the world face challenges and barriers either imposed by the society, by family or by law, these restrictions and perceptions limit women from proceeding further and taking leadership roles. Adding to this the perpetual sense of responsibility to find a balance between family, work, self development by learning new skills, makes the journey more difficult. I have witnessed my friends and colleagues across regions go through these difficulties and overcome them every now and then. During my visits to India, I was inspired to see many talented women at leadership positions even though they faced similar challenges.
I come from a family where women were all devoted to their husband and kids, none of my mother or my grand-mothers have ever worked.
I am glad that today things are changing with more and more women joining the workforce. Recently, I was very proud when my six years old daughter while studying a French novel read out a statement where it was mentioned that the place of a woman is at home, she spontaneously laughed and said “it’s completely insane! You, mums are working and I am going to school every day!”
Over the last 15 years I noticed that the number of women working in IT industry has increased, and are taking more and more leadership positions as well.
It’s no longer an exception to have women holding senior or executive positions and credit goes to their skills, commitment, potential, and never give up attitude.
One key advice to my colleagues both men and women would be: women should not try to act like men but be proud of who they are and male colleagues should seize the opportunity to have women colleagues because they add value and perspective to the team and to the organisation.
Lastly, success is not dependent on gender, but it’s about setting goals and having passion and persistence to achieve them.