Vice President, Delivery Director for Capgemini UK Martin Scott has been with Capgemini since 1997. Recently he spoke with WeAreTheCity about why he is a keen supporter of equality in the workplace.
Why do you support the HeForShe campaign? For example – do you have a daughter or have you witnessed the benefits that diversity can bring to a workplace?
I’m lucky enough to have two children – one of each – and I would like my daughter to have the full breadth of opportunities available to her. So, it’s very personal for me, as well as making really good business sense.
Diversity in a team is essential – it creates debate and challenge, and a richness of conversation, which leads to brilliant and diverse outcomes. We also have to reflect the customers we partner with, and very few of our clients’ organisations are made up exclusively of white, middle-aged men.
While the variety of thought and ideas is important, it’s not the only consideration. I tend to find that my female colleagues are more collaborative in the ways they work, and bring a different dynamic to a team, which I really appreciate.
Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?
For me, inclusion is about a lot more than just the absence of exclusion. Our culture of “Active Inclusion” at Capgemini is deliberately named in recognition that we all have to do something proactive to ensure that everyone feels involved, particularly if you’re in the privileged position (as a lot of men are) of being in the perceived “in group”. Behaviors and tone are set early on and you have to lead and create the environment that you want to see.
Enjoying the journey as is good as achieving the goal. I want the opportunity to work with people time and time again, so retention of our people is absolutely key, and a mutually beneficial experience is important in fostering retention.
How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?
Statistics do not lie. We have a challenge on our hands in our industry, and we need a better balance. I always feel a welcome part of the conversation, and at Capgemini, we very much take the view that we’re all in this together, and we have to share equal responsibility for change, regardless of gender.
We encourage our women to build networks (to which, it should be said, men are always invited!) however, it is not just about building awareness. We have made a decision to make a step change, here, and we cannot expect our female colleagues to deliver this on their own: our male employees also have an important role in driving this change.
Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?
I think that when it comes to diversity both the business reasons and the moral imperative are clear, and if you work from that assumption, it’s really obvious that it’s everyone’s challenge to fix. So in my view, women’s networks are really useful to help us start conversations (especially when men are invited to participate as we are at Capgemini), and absolutely not something which makes men feel gender equality isn’t their problem.
Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?
I’ve mentored men and women in the past, and I think it’s less about the gender of the person, and more about treating everyone I mentor as an individual. It’s too simplistic to think that men and women want different things. Actually, regardless of their gender, each person has their own individual needs when it comes to mentoring, and the beauty of really good mentoring is that it’s the most tailored and individual L&D you can have.
The key to make sure mentoring really works is nothing to do with gender, rather it is in making sure that both parties go into it with a real open and honest approach in terms of what they are looking to get out of it. A mentee needs to be really clear about what they are aiming for, and a mentor needs to be clear as to whether they can deliver that.