Almost exactly a year after the launch of “Active Inclusion”, Bal Gill writes about our recent win at the First Women Awards. This award is a huge source of pride for us, and Bal explains why it means so much.

In July 2016, we launched ‘Active Inclusion’ – a ground-breaking diversity and inclusion programme – in Capgemini UK. Just twelve months on, we found ourselves nominated for the prestigious title of ‘Business of the Year’ at the First Women Awards for our work on gender – and thanks to over 2,000 votes from our employees and the public, we beat competitors including Deloitte, IBM and KPMG to take home the title!

Diversity and inclusion has always been high on our agenda at Capgemini – in particular, encouraging women into the IT sector.  One year ago, we decided that this wasn’t enough: we wanted to make a proactive step change in our approach to inclusion to ensure that all of our team members feel valued, included, empowered and able to be their authentic self at work.

Since then, Active Inclusion has achieved a huge amount across the business – from educating top level leadership on unconscious bias to welcoming in our first 50% female graduate intake. While the journey is far from over, being recognised at the First Women Awards and re-entering the Times Top 50 Employers for Women earlier this year tells us that we are starting to make a real impact and positive difference.

We have a brilliant network at Capgemini supporting this journey – from our Exec sponsors, to our role models and ambassadors in the business, and most of all the teams dedicated to driving the Active Inclusion change agenda every day (all of which were represented in joining me at the Awards evening on June 29).

As one of our internal role models, Senior Engagement Manager Nicola Hodkinson, puts it: “I have always been encouraged and motivated to challenge myself at Capgemini, and given amazing opportunities for progression that satisfy my ambition to grow and achieve. If you want to learn, be supported and become the best that you can be, it’s an amazing place to work.”

Celebrating our first year of achievements at the First Women Awards, surrounded by inspirational female talent and organisations leading in the field, was a fantastic experience – and a reminder of the importance of the work we have done and will continue to do.

Our task now is to continue pushing our Active Inclusion programme from strength to strength – so watch this space.