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Embracing Authenticity: How Capco’s #BYAW Culture Redefines the Workplace Experience

capco women in tech

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Discover how Capco's #BYAW movement is revolutionizing workplace culture, empowering individuals to embrace authenticity and driving innovation through diversity and inclusion.

Imagine a workplace where you can shed any mask and be your authentic self each day. At Capco, this isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality embodied in our global #BYAW (Be Yourself At Work) movement. 

#BYAW goes beyond simply feeling comfortable. It’s about actively dismantling barriers and creating a space where every voice is heard and valued. This unwavering commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s the fuel that propels our innovation engine.

We believe that a tapestry woven from a multitude of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives fosters a vibrant environment brimming with creative ideas.  Empowering women and celebrating our LGBTQ+ colleagues are integral parts of this vision. By fostering a culture of pride and inclusivity, we unlock the full potential of our workforce, leading to ground-breaking solutions for our clients.

In this post, we ask several women at Capco what the BYAW culture means to them and how it integrates into their work life.

 

Embracing AuthenticityMadeleine Howard has 30+ years’ financial services experience, including multiple engagements as a Technology Program/Portfolio Manager, ePMO and Portfolio Governance Lead and Account Engagement Lead.

She has driven OSS Management capability engagements for the firm and leads the Technology Delivery capability for the Capco Technology Practice. 

Madeleine is also a passionate key sponsor of Capco’s Women In Tech community and has been recognised in the past as ‘coach of the year’ within the UK business.

I can only explain the BYAW culture through my lived experience and observations, and for me, it’s a way of operating naturally and should feel a part of the fabric of the company.  Even in the most difficult times, and the last four years have tested the world’s financial market, the ethos that you are heard, can express your needs and act with authenticity whilst respecting your personal values and boundaries has remained.

When I joined Capco 11.5 years ago, the BYAW initiative had not been officially named or even defined as such,  however, the message I felt and received from the first week was ‘You do not have to be like everyone else to be accepted and to perform well here’.  It was powerful coming from two decades in the banking industry, which (unlike today) celebrated uniformity and an identical public/ and internal corporate identity. 

The world has evolved rapidly over the last 35 years and luckily, we see the power in disruption and alternative thinking, as opposed to safety and comfort in similarity. Fundamentally we see that it is individuals that have taken the risk to be wrong and do things differently, which has accelerated change. Individuals can only do that effectively if they know they can bring their true selves to the workplace and not be afraid to try new and exciting things and be supported, however ‘wild’ the idea may be!  

For those who are considering similar initiatives at their companies’, getting started begins with everyone. However, leadership being prepared to show their authentic selves and embracing this as not just a concept scribbled down in a mission statement is key.  Leadership operating and expressing BYAW values day to day, and then embedding this by bringing individuals into your firm who replicate that support, openness and appreciation of the abilities and the gifts we all have. 

Recognising those individuals in your firm who make decisions for the good of their colleagues and support their teams/people is vital to embedding that culture and making those decisions using a compassionate and humane lens. 

It is not enough to create policies and marketing and expect the change to happen; it starts with understanding and trusting your people, challenging yourself and being open about what is the right thing for the individual not just the company. 

I would also say to those creating this environment to remember that vulnerability is not a weakness. A company that embraces failure will tap the potential of its people and receive loyalty back for that care and support. When you are not afraid to be vulnerable, you can express ideas freely and in a safe environment. breeds innovation and a sense of belonging which then enables individuals to be their true selves. 

A positive company response to vulnerability then multiplies that sense of belonging and loyalty.  From my experience, people pay kindness forward, honesty and trust they have directly received but consistency is needed.  Right or wrong, we all know that a bad experience or complaint creates a wider audience than a good experience or compliment. The same applies when driving a BYAW culture, it is not a ‘one and done’ policy, but a constantly embedding and evolving culture.

That being said, some key learnings are that we do not always get it right – and recognising that fact is also being truly authentic, which is a cornerstone of BYAW. It’s not about being right 100% of the time it’s also identifying and accepting where you have got it wrong. 

The old expression ‘to err is human, to forgive divine’ I apply to myself and my interactions regularly – we do not come into this world as complete articles and who said that we need to be? And why would you expect others to be? I also mean this from an individual’s perspective within the company – being open, authentic and vulnerable does not negate accountability for bringing the best version of yourself to work. There is a level of commitment and investment we all have to share with our employers, and if you feel that it is not there, or you cannot be honest with those shaping your future, it will be a constant battle to bring your true self to work.  

Enabling our people to showcase their talents, vulnerabilities, mistakes, and achievements is something we strive for. Ensuring they feel comfortable in admitting they don’t know something, asking for help genuinely or acknowledging they’ve made a mistake are simple do to be more authentic at work which breeds the BYAW culture.

Embracing AuthenticityAli is a cybersecurity expert with five years of experience in IT, information security, and conducting security assessments. She guides clients through compliance with various government frameworks (GDPR, NIST CSF, etc.) and helps organisations in both public and private sectors improve their security posture.

Capco’s Be Yourself at Work (BYAW) culture enables employees to create a meaningful, authentic, and unique work environment that sets the firm aside from other organizations. It is not the individual who fits the mold of Capco, rather Capco molds to the individual. Fostering this environment allows employees to embrace their backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and creativity, which boils down to personal and professional growth. 

The impact of Capco’s BYAW culture runs deep, uniting employees from across the United States and abroad. From small teams to larger DEI groups, the BYAW mindset enables its people to stay true to themselves. It creates a sense of internal security and belonging, which is not always found among other firms. Being yourself at Capco is limitless. 

I look no further than my own personal experience to highlight Capco’s BYAW culture. As a first-generation Polish American woman, I am no stranger to the hardships of ‘fitting in’. Capco’s BYAW initiative allowed me to create a DEI group – Polish@Capco – that brought together not only Polish employees from across the United States, but a plethora of individuals with Eastern European backgrounds who wanted to learn more about Polish culture, cuisine, and traditions. Members of this group began to find comfort in connecting over their similarities, but also differences that came with living in different parts of Poland. We grew to plan events, focusing on initiatives that are important to us and championing our ability to create space for ourselves at a global firm. 

It is evident that Capco’s BYAW culture underscores the importance of diversity and inclusivity. The campaign recognizes the value of each employee, and not just the amount s/he is billable at. Capco employees are more than just a number and the BYAW initiative continues to set the firm apart from others. To be seen, heard, and yourself – that is invaluable.

Embracing AuthenticityFallon has 15 years of financial services experience working with private Tier 2 banks, FinTech’s, lenders and insurers. As an experienced Programme/Project Manager/Lead Business Analyst and  Transformation Consultant, she focuses on delivering results in complex environments to tight deadlines on programmes ranging from digital transformation, regulatory change, designing and implementing new target operating models, and digital innovation initiatives to streamline internal processes and align business systems & architecture.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, authenticity has emerged as a powerful force for personal and professional growth. For women working in tech roles at all levels and those aspiring to secure their first tech position, the journey towards embracing authenticity can be transformative, not only for themselves but for the industry.

Being True to Yourself: A Catalyst for Growth

To thrive in it’s crucial to be true to yourself. Authenticity means bringing your whole self to work, flaws and all, without the burden of striving for perfection. We all have our unique talents, experiences, failures, and successes that make us who we are. Embracing these aspects of ourselves and infusing them into our work can be a source of personal pride and professional growth.

Tech careers are more than just jobs; they are a part of who we are. The experiences we gain on this journey shape our character and impart valuable life lessons. By opening up about our failures and celebrating our achievements, we not only learn and grow as individuals but also foster a culture of authenticity that is essential for effective leadership.

Ditching the Facade: The Power of Vulnerability

Early in our careers, many of us feel compelled to wear a mask of perfection. The constant need to project an image of flawlessness can be mentally and physically exhausting. This facade, however, is counterproductive as it inhibits our ability to learn and grow. Mistakes are an integral part of the learning process, and by embracing them, we pave the way for personal and professional development.

Creating an environment where authenticity is encouraged and celebrated is essential. When we let down our guard and share our true selves with our colleagues, trust is built, and strong working relationships are formed. Open communication fosters a sense of belonging and makes our daily work more enjoyable and meaningful.

The Role of Employers in Fostering Authenticity

It is incumbent upon employers to create workplaces where individuals can feel comfortable being themselves. Many individuals hesitate to embrace authenticity at work due to concerns about how they will be perceived, especially by leadership and management teams. Employers have a pivotal role in addressing these concerns and promoting an inclusive and diverse work environment.

Authenticity not only boosts individual confidence but also breaks down prejudices over time. People often resist what they don’t understand, and it’s the responsibility of organisations to educate their workforce and promote a culture of acceptance. Companies like Capco, with their Be Yourself At Work (BYAW) culture, are leading the charge in creating spaces where authenticity is not just embraced but celebrated. It’s one of the reasons I decided to join Capco a year ago.

The path to success in the tech industry for women at all career stages, as well as aspiring candidates, lies in embracing authenticity – being yourself at work. By being true to ourselves, embracing vulnerability, and fostering inclusive workplaces, we can not only advance our careers but also contribute to a more diverse, accepting, and innovative tech industry. So, let’s celebrate our authentic selves and create a brighter future for all in tech.

Embracing AuthenticityWith over 17 years’ experience in testing, Ravikalaa is a leader in process automation using a wide range of technologies and tools in this space. She has managed geographically dispersed testing teams and has spent much of her career leading User Acceptance Testing and Business Acceptance Testing cycles, with a strong understanding of Agile methodologies, code management, and deployment strategies.

Capco’s #BeYourselfAtWork culture empowers me to bring my authentic self to the table. My unique background shapes my perspective, and I feel comfortable sharing my ideas and experiences, knowing they’ll be valued. We also have allyship workshop trainings that raise awareness about privilege and offer tangible actions on both individual and interpersonal levels to foster inclusion. These workshops create a space where we can learn from each other and advocate for one another.

The recent International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations act as a powerful reminder of the remarkable achievements of women globally. This year’s theme, #InspireInclusion, particularly resonated with me as a British-Indian woman at Capco.

Being a woman of colour comes with its own set of challenges. There can be moments when you feel that you need to prove yourself a bit harder or find your voice in a room that may not always reflect your background. However, working at Capco has been a refreshing experience. Here, my heritage and perspective are not just tolerated, they’re valued.

The focus on diversity and inclusion isn’t just a formality; it’s woven into the very fabric of Capco’s culture.

At Capco, I’m surrounded by inspiring women in leadership positions. Seeing them excel shows me the possibilities that lie ahead and motivates me to reach my own full potential. International Women’s Day is a call to action. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women like me, but also a day to reflect on the progress still needed. By fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, we can create a workplace where all women, regardless of background, can thrive.

Reflecting on IWD and beyond, I encourage everyone to embrace diversity and inclusion. Let’s celebrate the unique strengths that everyone brings and continue to build a workplace where everyone feels they belong.

 

Embracing AuthenticityAnjali leverages her extensive experience in banking (both in Canada and US) and insurance to excel as a Senior Business Systems Analyst at Capco.  She thrives in collaborative environments, actively contributing to high-profile projects for major Canadian banks. Her skills range from eliciting requirements and gap analysis to crafting user stories, UML diagrams, and technical specifications.  Anjali’s background in development (front-end and back-end) combined with systems analysis grants her a unique perspective, allowing her to bridge the gap between business needs and technical solutions.  Beyond her technical expertise, Anjali fosters a trusting and inclusive team environment, always willing to go the extra mile to support her colleagues.

Who doesn’t want to be unapologetically themselves at work? Isn’t that a dream workplace? It sure is for me and kudos to Capco, for advocating the Be Yourself At Work (#BYAW) global culture that fosters an environment of inclusivity and acceptance and encourages individuals to embrace their uniqueness, thus catalysing a positive transformation in workplaces around the world.

First and foremost, the initiative has created a sense of belonging and acceptance in the minds and hearts of the employees. This has enabled them to bring their authentic selves forward without any fear of judgement or discrimination. Consequently, this has eliminated the need to conform to predefined norms and expectations. Therefore, when individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives are encouraged to express themselves freely, it creates a melting pot of innovative ideas and creativity. Eventually, this enriched environment becomes a breeding ground for novel solutions and breakthroughs.

Being a woman at Capco, the #BYAW culture has made a particularly profound impact on my daily professional life. Historically, women have faced societal and workplace pressures to conform to traditional norms, which often forced them to choose between their professional identity and personal values. Thankfully, from my conversations with some incredible women at Capco, they experience a sense of freedom in expressing themselves and a boost of self-esteem under the #BYAW umbrella.

Personally, the campaign not only makes me feel valued and heard but also celebrated for who I really am. This allows me to approach tasks and challenges with a renewed vigour. And it gives me the confidence to engage in work with my unique traits and perspectives which evidently has benefitted not only me but also our clients. The campaign also fortifies emotional and mental wellbeing of the employees. It is liberating in every sense when I don’t have to mask my true identity and can confidently let my authenticity shine. This collectively creates a ripple effect within the workplace, fostering a culture of mutual respect, collaboration and understanding.

 #BYAW environments like Capco’s are subtly but surely altering the landscape of what an ideal workplace environment should be. This is a testament to Capco’s commitment to fostering a workplace where individuals thrive by being their genuine selves leading to the collective success of the organization. What better way to conclude my thoughts about Capco’s #BYAW culture than with Oscar Wilde’s famous quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

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