Imagine the Possibilities…

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Mere acceptance of diversity is useful but not sufficient. Concrete actions, policies and programs are needed.

Many thanks to Nilesh Vaidya, Capgemini NA Head Banking and Capital Markets Consulting & Solutions, for this contribution to the Corporate Responsibility Blog.

This weekend, as I sat with a cup of coffee, I saw spring in the air. In just one week, the trees had new leaf cover. Tiny green shoots had appeared where there were none last week. The mighty oak trees and the tiny blue bells had both blossomed. The new season has brought forth a world of possibilities …

As I looked at my daughter, I saw the same world of possibilities. Diagnosed as autistic at two-and-a-half years of age, this prospect was bleak. Communication was non-existent and the challenges were immense. Almost a decade-and-a-half later, the programs in the United States have given her a new life and unimaginable possibilities. The early intervention program put her on the right course. The institutional support and structured program at various New Jersey schools and the kindness of numerous people have opened many doors for her.

The opportunity my daughter received has come from the belief in creating equal opportunity, these beliefs turned into legislation; these beliefs were channelized into programs with the right enabling structures. Mere belief of a few in equal opportunity wouldn’t have helped my daughter. But the beliefs turned into concrete actions and institutionalized policies and programs that helped her.

It is the same with diversity in the workplace. There is a belief that diversity is necessary to serve the individual customer and the overall market. Diversity is in accepting all differences in gender, language, race, national origin. Mere acceptance of diversity is useful but not sufficient. Concrete actions, policies and programs are needed.

The diversity program in my company has taken this path. It is great to have colleagues who strongly believe in diversity. It is nice to see the belief in diversity turn into concrete actions, policies and programs. Various programs in different countries from USA, UK, India, France, The Netherlands are coming up like the blossoms in early spring. Some examples are a program to review data related to key gender balance issues, child care facilities in India, women returning to the work force after a break of a few years. While some programs are nascent, others are racing forward. Many small decisions and programs in our workplace will lead to diversity. While it may take some time for a tree to get a new leaf cover, the tiny shoots in spring indicate that we are on the right path.

Nilesh Vaidya – Capgemini NA Head Banking and Capital Markets Consulting & Solutions

Nilesh is currently responsible for Banking and Capital Markets consulting practice and solutions globally. He is passionate about emerging technology and is working with Fintechs and Blockchain partners. Nilesh lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

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