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“Dare to Dream”: Capgemini Sponsors ASCEND’s 2016 National Conference at Disneyland Resort

Categories : PeopleEvents

This past summer, Capgemini’s CREATE Employee Resource Group (ERG) attended the 2016 ASCEND National Convention and Career Fair, a premier event for Pan-Asian professionals. With the support from our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability and Recruiting Teams, Capgemini was featured as an inaugural bronze sponsor for this convention. The ASCEND Convention represents one of the largest gatherings of over 3,000 leaders and senior executives from a wide cross-section of the Pan-Asian business community.

Hosted at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, this year’s highlighted theme was “Dare to Dream, Be Extraordinary, Ascend!”. For those of us who attended from Capgemini, this was a terrific opportunity for us to be brand ambassadors for our company and network with peers and thought leaders across organizations. Below are some of the key highlights form this three-day event:

1) Career Fair

Capgemini hosted a booth at the ASCEND career fair this year, along with 30 other exhibitors. We were very fortunate to have Krista Harris, National Recruiter for Capgemini, and Hector Pino, from our HOLA ERG to be representing our booth and speaking with potential candidates about joining Capgemini and the career opportunities available. We collected over 70 resumes from interested applicants!

From left to right: Hector Pino, Wenyi Zhu, Krista Harris, Chris Chan and Tony Laanan


2) ERG Leaders Forum

CREATE Leaders, Wenyi Zhu and Chris Chan, had the opportunity to also attend the ASCEND ERG Leaders Forum, where engaging discussions took place on how to develop an effective employee resource group within your organization. We were able to gain actionable insights through listening to advice from experts and sharing experiences with ERG Leaders from other companies. Some of the key takeaways include:

·       Establishing and advancing your ERG/ BRG to align with your company’s business strategy and values

·       Understanding what an ERG/ BRG should own vs. what an ERG/ BRG can influence

·       Engaging executive sponsors for an ERG/ BRG to promote leadership and advancement

·       Developing members of ERG/ BRG to promote leadership and advancement

3) Executive Insight Series

Our CREATE ERG Executive Sponsor, John Drwal attended this half-day program for executives which provided insight into key characteristics, specific behaviors, competencies, and experiences required for Pan-Asians to reach the executive levels of an organization. Participants were able to develop a thorough understanding of the “Myths of Asian Leadership,” and how these myths act as barriers to advancement. Furthermore, participants gained insight into executive values, presence, and leadership skills demanded by large North American corporations to be a vital and integral part of the corporate culture. John’s hope is to instill these insights to guide the strategic direction of our CREATE ERG and how we can position ourselves to support the career and personal development of Capgemini’s Pan-Asian talent.

4) Benefit & Awards Dinner

On the final night of the convention, a dinner celebration was hosted at the Disneyland Hotel where inspiring individuals were recognized for their leadership. The keynote speaker of the night was Asa Kalama, Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he spoke about his journey of “Daring to Dream” and how that directly ties into his role of overseeing the development of interactive experiences for the theme parks, including the recently announced Star Wards Lands.  It was a truly magical talk!

This was a fantastic year for  CREATE to attend the ASCEND National Convention and we are excited to see this partnership grow in the years to come. As we look towards 2017, CREATE will continue to develop initiatives that will promote leadership and advancement for our Asian employees. If you would like to learn more about CREATE, please contact or


From left to right: Chris Chan, Esther Kim, Amanda Yiu, Nhu-Y Pham and Tony Laanan


About Capgemini’s ERG Program

Capgemini NA endorses 11 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that support our Diversity & Inclusion program.  An ERG can be thought of as a network of colleagues with a common purpose. Any employee can join an ERG, or create a new ERG.  

Currently, there are approximately 1,300 Capgemini NA employees who participate in one of our ERGs.  Employees are encouraged to support the ERG program in one of the following ways:

·       Join an ERG;

·       Offer a training/presentation to an ERG;

·       Attend ERG sponsored events/webinars and encourage others to do the same;

·       Share information about ERGs to new employees and recruits; and

·       Recognize employees who you work with for their support of ERG.

The ERGs’ objectives are aligned with a concept referred to as the 4C’s.  Activities planned by the ERGs must connect with 1 or more of the 4C’s to ensure maximum benefit to Capgemini employees and our business.  The 4C’s are: Commerce, Culture, Career and Community.

Each ERG has a dynamic leadership team which works to make a positive impact for its members, and Capgemini employees more broadly. 

CREATE is Capgemini’s Asian ERG. The acronym stands for Collaborating to Reach Excellence in Asian Talent & Expertise. 2016 is the year of the monkey and the monkey has been traditionally described as being very clever and witty.  To that end, CREATE decided to take that concept to heart as they renewed their ERG’s focus around the three goals of COMMUNITY, LEADERSHIP, and BUSINESS GROWTH, in tandem with the 4C’s. 

More about our program can be found in the attached blog articles.

Employee Resource Groups Make An Impact for Capgemini North America

Capgemini NA Hosts 2016 Employee Resource Groups Strategic Leadership Meeting

About Ascend

Established in 2005, Ascend is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals, executives, and students in North America. Their vision is to enhance the presence and influence of current and future Pan-Asian business leaders and serve as a collective voice for Pan-Asian business communities. To learn more, visit


About the author

Amanda Yiu
Amanda Yiu
Amanda Yiu is a Manager with the Business Transformation Services (BTS) practice at Capgemini. Based out of the Los Angeles office, she is passionate about helping companies thrive in a digital world and has experience in the Media & Entertainment, Smart Energy, Retail and Commercial Aviation sectors. Amanda is also the National Co-Lead of CREATE, Capgemini's Asian Employee Resource Group.

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