Katie Goodman is a Manager in Sustainability Services for Accenture Strategy. Here she talks about Accent on Family and why Accenture has thrown its full weight behind supporting this vital initiative.
I’d been to a couple of Accent on Family events in the past, but it wasn’t until I became a mum in 2016, that I actually got involved with the network. Initially, I was the Project Lead for ‘Bring your child to work day’ but, in the past couple of months, I’ve taken on the role as UK Lead for Accent on Family (AoF). My role is fun because I have exposure to everything that Accent on Family does. It’s nice to have oversight and, hopefully, a bit of a shaping role in where we focus our attention going forward.
AoF is here for all of our colleagues, not just those who are raising and supporting a family. We can help with information on the wider topic of family and we hold a range of events. It’s also a great opportunity for colleagues to network.
I think what AoF does is important for a number of reasons; not least because, Accenture has some very ambitious targets around gender parity, and we recognise that supporting our working parents and making Accenture an inclusive workplace plays a critical role in contributing to this target. Within AoF we try to cover as many topics as possible – because everyone’s family circumstances are unique, needs can vary, but hopefully there’s something in there for everyone!
We have representatives across all parts of the business and they hold a range of activities, including webinars, lunch and learns on a specific topic; and breakfast or evening events with external speakers. We also hold a Parental Returner’s workshop once a month, in conjunction with HR. It’s a chance for anyone returning from parental leave to ask questions and raise any issues they may have about coming back to work. We’ve recently developed a “returners handbook” setting out a number of actions for each business area to adopt to help improve the returning to work process, and whilst we’ve done a lot to improve the process, we know there is more to do.
Our ‘Bring your child to work day’ has been running for a few years now, and this year’s event theme was ‘Being Super Human’. Technology is going to be even more critical in the future, so finding fun and engaging ways for kids to get involved is really important. We drew our inspiration from the recent Accenture Tech Vision publication and used this to find fun and engaging ways to showcase the whole range of technology out there.
As part of the event, we had workshops such as programming robots, coding super heroes in a computer game, and a virtual reality workshop - drawing on some of the best of Accenture internally, including Accenture Digital; the Innovation Centre and Liquid Studios who all ran workshops for us. The event was a huge success and I think some of the Mums and Dads were equally excited about playing with robots and programming super heroes! My daughter is only two, so sadly she was too young to attend, but it was a real privilege to organise the event and to see how much fun everyone had on the day.