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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


How a flexible, “virtual” workplace transformed my life

By Concetta Rana, Senior Manager, Accenture Digital, Milan

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Mine is the story of a change in outlook on work and on life–and of an enthusiastic new beginning. I joined global professional services company Accenture two years ago, after spending 15 years at other corporations. I had always worked in very competitive, dynamic environments, each time venturing out with curiosity and courage while endeavoring to achieve the best possible work/life balance.

When you’ve got two small children and a demanding job, organization and teamwork are everything: They’re your lifesavers when faced with unforeseeable events that pop up at the least convenient time.

“Smart working—more effective and efficient ways of working made possible by technology—is underpinned by such values as trust, flexibility, sense of responsibility and meritocracy.”

Smart working is underpinned by such values as trust, flexibility, sense of responsibility and meritocracy–as embraced not by the individual, but by the entire team. In fact, there is a noticeably mature work ethic in my company, and people routinely uphold these standards every day. This was a truly amazing learning opportunity for me.

I found that the combination of new digital operating models, which enable smart working based around employees’ needs, practically guarantees that you can strike the right balance. The availability of different types of part-time options during maternity leave or sabbatical periods has a highly favorable impact on people’s levels of satisfaction and self-realization that is no less important than career or economic advancement. For women, it means not having to choose between work and family.

Many of my former colleagues ask me to let them know of job openings. These are the same people who thought I was crazy when I first accepted the challenge to join the company. This confirms two things to me: first, that I made the right choice, and, second, how a positive work environment can correct groundless misconceptions.

I am convinced that this is a company where you can craft your own work/life balance every day. That’s not a slogan–it’s what my own personal experience here has shown me. Given that it worked for me, it might also be a new work model that we could propose to our clients.

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