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Capgemini’s Avancer program lifts women up

November 27, 2020

As the global head of HR for Capgemini’s Business Services Global Business Line, it is my passion for what I do, along with my emotional intelligence, that has helped me advance in my career. These traits assist me as I coach people on how to tap into their potential while making sure Capgemini’s leaders build our people – and women, in particular – as they develop the skills needed to succeed within their roles.

Choosing mentors and asking for help

Finding a mentor who inspires you is a significant first step on the path to success. Not only will they help you build on the skills you have but suggest new ones that will help you on your professional journey. Mentors can also help strengthen your faith in your abilities and what you bring to the table, which is beneficial when it comes to reaching your goals.

However, having a great mentor isn’t the only trick to building confidence. Asking for help when you need it is another way to make sure you get the support you need. This will make sure you keep a healthy work-life balance, which has been shown to lower burnout rates and keep you on track with your career goals. Plus, asking for help has the added perk of teaching you what needs to be prioritized and what can wait, something a good leader needs to be able to understand how to do.

How to handle roadblocks

As I’ve climbed the corporate ladder, I’ve experienced two main types of roadblocks: those I created in my head and the traditional mindsets of others, although this one seems to be changing now. When I started my career, I met a few people who felt that women aren’t going to be able to commit to as many work-related responsibilities because of the demands of motherhood and other family obligations. Thankfully, at Capgemini, this is not the situation. Many of my male colleagues and managers are supportive and encouraging when it comes to women chasing both career and family aspirations.

Strangely, I feel the roadblocks I created myself may have stood in my way more than any of the outside ones, particularly in my early career. I was afraid I wasn’t going to be taken as seriously as my male colleagues if I needed to take a sick day to look after my daughter or take her to the doctor, or any other sort of family obligation. This was a reaction to both some of the more traditional mindsets of older colleagues and my insecurities. However, as the years have progressed, my fears have dissipated, and I have more faith in myself and my abilities. Today, I take great pride in how I co-manage my family and work responsibilities.

Finding your motivation and problem solving

I also think having a dynamic and diverse workplace full of original ideas and perspectives can be incredibly motivating for many people. One of the best ways I know to create this sort of environment is to have a wide variety of voices in more senior roles. I think there is something valuable and unique about how every individual approaches problem-solving within the realm of business.

The Avancer program for women

One of the things I love the most about working for Capgemini is its belief in promoting talent through the ranks. And even though we have plenty of great programs dedicated to helping people at every level of our organization, we wanted to create one explicitly reserved for women who aspire to move into senior roles. We hope that the Avancer program will encourage more women to aim for senior management positions in Capgemini.

This six-month program was designed to help high performing women in early to mid-management positions within Capgemini’s Business Services to understand the digital world’s ever-changing landscape, especially when it comes to digital transformation. It also teaches them essential leadership and soft skills so they can lead with confidence as they navigate their career path within Capgemini. That way, they can be successful in every aspect of their lives, both at home and at work.

Read an interview with Aarti Srivastava on how HR is at the heart of Capgemini and everything we do.

Learn from our people about why they love building their careers with us!

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Aarti Srivastava leads strategic HR for Capgemini’s Business Services. She advises on people issues, organizational design, and HR product needs and translating business demand into HR solutions.