Skip to Content

Changing lives with coding
Meet our digital academy alumna, Dharma

Sally Caughey
Jun 20, 2024

Capgemini UK has supported almost 600 individuals from minority, often disadvantaged backgrounds with training in the skills needed to gain tech sector employment since 2019. Sally Caughey, our Head of Digital Inclusion, caught up with one of our alumna – hearing her manager and our client, EDF Trading’s reflections on the value Dharma is bringing to the team.

At Capgemini, we want to ensure that digital transformation creates an inclusive future for all. This includes opening digital job opportunities to individuals who might otherwise struggle to access training and employment, and who are often underrepresented in the technology sector. One way we do this is through our work with non-profit CodeYourFuture, a partnership which was recognised with an edie award earlier this year for its positive impact.

Our award-winning partnership

We started collaborating in 2018, when Capgemini became CodeYourFuture’s first corporate partner offering support from start to finish for a free software training programme. Around 75% of all trainees joining CodeYourFuture’s courses are living below the poverty line, and the training offers a pathway to acquire the skills and connections that can help participants gain entry to technology careers.

It’s all about enabling individuals to gain meaningful, secure employment. Capgemini has supported almost 600 people through our digital academies with CodeYourFuture since 2019. Around 70% of those graduating between 2019-22 have now gone on to secure employment offers from Capgemini and other companies. As of September 2023, 84 graduates have joined our own business.

Adding value in the workplace

Trainees often have no prior experience of working in the technology sector. After they graduate, how do they find the transition to the workplace, and how do colleagues and our clients find working with them?

“When I applied to the programme, I was working as a personal trainer – taking free online coding classes wherever possible. I was interested in pursuing a career in technology but couldn’t afford to undertake a full coding bootcamp. I was really excited when I found out about CodeYourFuture’s training programme and realised that I was eligible. It was the launchpad into a new career that I’d been looking for.”

Dharma Guadeloupe joined Capgemini in May 2022 after she successfully completed the training programme.

“It’s been fantastic to have such incredible support from all the team. I’ve had a brilliant start to my tech sector career and really feel my personal development has been prioritised.”

Dharma joined her first client project with EDF Trading last year, where she works as a software

Contributing fresh perspectives

Building teams with varied perspectives and experiences is a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Sakib Azam and Toby Rawlings, from EDF Trading, explained why they were keen to be supportive of our digital academy graduates:

“We were eager to see how Capgemini’s digital academy programme worked. We believe that lots of people have an excellent aptitude for IT. However, many have not been lucky enough to discover their skills or have the support for a traditional university IT education. As a result, there is untapped potential in our community. Capgemini and CodeYourFuture’s digital academies give many the opportunity to change their early life decisions and realise their IT abilities. Plus, the opportunity to increase diversity in the team ensures different perspectives are generating ideas, better balance and teamwork.”

How have they found working with Dharma?

“Dharma has done really well in the software tester role, readily embracing a steep learning curve. She has the right mindset and she has gained the trust of others in the team, asking excellent questions and building strong relationships. It’s proving a success.”

David Firth, Senior Account Manager at Capgemini, agrees:

“From the moment I met Dharma, it was clear she would be an asset to our team. It’s her problem-solving skills that stand out for me. If she comes up against a challenge, she will go out and find the answer without waiting to be told, handling situations in a mature way far beyond what you would expect from someone in their first year working in technology. She has a brilliant way of collaborating with others and was easily able to slot into our team.”

Supporting other trainees

After settling into tech sector employment, it’s been fantastic to see our digital academy graduates join the sector and give back – both to current trainees as well as new starters at Capgemini. As the number of graduates from our digital academies grows, so does a network that can help support and inspire others who want to join the tech sector.

Dharma concludes: “This year, I am volunteering as a mentor to help support other digital academy trainees looking to start tech careers. It’s made me want to give back so others can have the same experience.

Find out more about our partnership with CodeYourFuture here.


Sally Caughey

UK Head of Digital Inclusion
Throughout her career with Capgemini, Sally has worked in various roles on client transformation programmes. She’s a passionate advocate of the positive difference technology and digital solutions can bring to every organisation and individual, and in 2015 she was part of the team that set up the Careers and Enterprise Company, dedicated to preparing and inspiring young people for the changing world of work. Leading Capgemini’s digital inclusion programme in the UK since 2018, she’s focused on how business can help to make sure that everyone can benefit from the digital revolution.