Corporate Responsibility as Connective Tissue: insights from our executive sponsors

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NA Chief Digital Officer Kim Smith wears multiple hats, including that of a Corporate Responsibility Executive Sponsor. She is passionate about corporate responsibility and over the years has built up wide experience in this space.

She is a member of the Ideagen Thought Leader Council and is working closely with the United Nations on innovation through alignment with the UN Sustainability Development goals 2030.

Jay Dowling, VP and Head of Sales for Cloud Infra in North America, is also an Executive Sponsor of our Corporate Responsibility program in North America and brings sales field-level perspective of how Capgemini can translate these efforts into business opportunities.

Capgemini’s Talent Team caught up with Kim and Jay, to understand why CR is at the heart of Capgemini, how we can help shape the CR agenda and deepen our commitment to engagement through the CR pillars of diversity, sustainability and community.

What is Corporate Responsibility at Capgemini?

Kim: Corporate Responsibility is a representation of our values through our people and our actions as a company. CR should be a priority because people are critical to our success and we should invest in our people and contribute to the well-being of the community around us. CR has a tremendous impact on our bottom line and the way we are perceived in the market. It is important as human beings that we invest, focus and prioritize CR in everything that we do in making this world a better place.

Jay: We want to comply with the law globally, create a positive environmental impact and be a good business partner to our clients. CR is a way to project Capgemini in a positive light based upon our contribution to the local community through charities and initiatives that we pursue on behalf of Capgemini, our employees and clients. It is extremely important for us to be perceived as not only successful but also responsible. We want to be considered as an attractive destination for employees and an attractive business partner for our clients.

How does a company strike a balance between being competitive, profitable and altruistic?

Kim: These things go hand in hand. Large global corporations are looking at creating a positive impact through diversity & inclusion, investing in charities and creating goods, services and products that have a positive impact on the world. Each of these organizations is investing millions of dollars in CR because ultimately the company exists because of its people and clients. It is therefore our responsibility to think through our values and incorporate principles in portraying who we are and how we operate. Our clients, their employees, our employees and everyone who has interaction with us as Capgemini, is looking at us very closely. So our competitive advantage is our ability to incorporate and infuse CR as the connective tissue in how we operate as a family.

Jay: It takes proper leadership and support to ensure that we incorporate CR in our general go-to market strategy and business operations. One of the things about CR that I find really fascinating is that it elevates the level of employee engagement. Many employees use this criterion to decide on whether they should join a company. A company with good CR and value systems and good charitable presence drive employee engagement and employee pride for the company they work for, resulting in better efficiency that ultimately leads to success in business.

How are you involved/what is your role for the North America Region?  Why is it important to you?

Kim: I work closely with organizations that help us collaborate with United Nations, European Union and large scale NGOs. I work with our clients to find innovative ways to achieve some of the UN sustainable development 2030 goals. I also work with North America CR leader Janet Pope and Jay on building a steering committee in the region with representation from all our business units so that we can collectively take responsibility and provide the evangelism to execute CR in Capgemini. We are taking a look at the sub-set of NGOs so that we can collectively stand behind and continue to support. These are the organizations that our clients care about as well, so we create a new version of the power of one with the partners we work with and with the clients we support. We’ve been very blessed with the success that we’ve had as a company over the last 50 years. This role is important to me because the next 50 years is just as critical and being able to chart out where we need to go, how we are going to get there, and the impact we are going to have is an amazing opportunity.

Jay: As NA has grown into one of the larger divisions combining all the SBUs, we have become an important focal point for CR. I provide perspectives from the sales and other business units on how we can do a better job of communicating these efforts to our clients in our bid responses. I provide some sales field level perspective of how we can translate these efforts and the benefits that we can gain from these efforts to our responses to clients that helps us win more business.

Learn more about Capgemini’s North America Corporate Responsibility Executive Sponsors:

Kim Smith is the Chief Digital Officer for Capgemini’s North American Application Services and Consulting Services. In this role, Smith will lead the overall digital portfolio for these North America business units, integrating all capabilities to architect the digital strategy and to collaborate with Capgemini’s global innovation initiatives to formulate advanced innovation practices for the collective business.  As Chief Digital Officer, Smith oversees the digital go-to-market strategy and delivery capabilities of these North American operations leveraging Capgemini’s global Applied

In her prior role, Smith was Adobe’s first global head of digital services innovation where she led the development of its digital services portfolio strategy and launched Adobe’s Smart Bag for retailers and Immersive Retail Experience offering in collaboration with Capgemini. She was previously a vice president at Capgemini, and led product and service lines for cloud and digital innovation. Prior to joining Capgemini, Smith spent 12 years as an executive at Microsoft leading online, digital, cloud products and services innovation.

Smith was recently a speaker and innovation leader at the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship held at the United Nations. She will continue to work on the issues of digital innovation and diversity through IdeaGen, where she will represent Capgemini at United Nations Forum events. Her diversity and inclusion efforts will also focus on next-generation workforce imperatives, as well as cross-industry innovation and disruption to support the U.S. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on international business from the University of Delaware.

Jay Dowling recently joined Capgemini with over 25 years of experience in sales and leadership roles in the Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunications Infrastructure industry. His sales focus has traditionally been directed at large enterprise, system integrators, service providers and the public sector. He has direct sales and management experience with IT transformation projects, products and services which include IP networking, wireless data and voice, machine-to-machine mobility solutions, enterprise security, data center, managed services, application management, professional services and emerging SaaS and IAAS technologies being delivered in a cloud based model. Jay’s product and professional service experience was gained through his tenure with MCI Communications, Verizon Enterprise Solutions as well as smaller start-up ventures that included Electric Lightwave Communications & BroadRiver. As Vice President of Sales & General Manager for these corporations, Jay was responsible for delivering the sales results, managing the P&L and assuring overall customer satisfaction.

Jay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Central Connecticut State University. He will be based out of our Irving Office and resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas with his wife, Claudia and their two teenage daughters Anna & Rose. When not in the office, Jay and his family spend much of their time supporting Rose’s passion for dance and cheering for the Horned Frog teams of TCU, where Anna is studying for her degree in Psychology.

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