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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


One woman's advice: Don't let anyone stand in your way

By Gatz Davis, Associate Manager, Accenture Technology, Chicago
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“There were people who didn’t believe I could make it. I used all their negativity as my motivation to push even harder.”

Growing up poor in the Philippines, I dreamed of a better life for my family and myself. My goal was either to have my own business or work for a reputable company as an accountant. My family was very supportive of my dreams and ambitions. My parents pushed me to be the best person I could be. However, not all were supportive. There were people who tried to pull me down; people who didn’t believe I could make it.

I used all their negativity as my motivation to even push harder. However, it was difficult, especially when monetary resources were limited. The accountancy degree that I really wanted became an agri-business management degree. College was a struggle, having to work two jobs to help my father with all the finances. There were days when I only was able to eat one meal. At one point, I had to stop for a semester because money was so scarce.

But with all these challenges came my first feel of success. I obtained my college degree. My family, especially my father, was very proud of me being the first of seven siblings to graduate.

I then received a call from Accenture, a global professional services company, requesting me to apply to their company. I was very thrilled. I passed all the exams and interviews. I thought, “Yes, finally, I have a job. Life will soon be easier.”

But no, working in IT and coming from an agribusiness management background was not a walk in the park. There were days I was crying, asking myself if I could do this. But I knew I had to overcome this challenge for my future and my family’s future. And so I pushed and believed in myself. I tried to be a sponge, absorbing whatever people taught me and did a lot of self-learning.

Fast forward to today. It’s been 11 years since I joined the company. Because of my hard work, I was given a lot of good opportunities including being sent to the United States for a temporary assignment and eventually being converted to a US-based employee. I plan to stay in this company for as long as I can. I feel that there are still a lot of things to learn with this growing organization. And I know there are a lot of people who are and will be very supportive in my adventure.

Part of this adventure is also helping others achieve their goals. Right now, I have two mentees who I help. If someone were to ask me what I would tell a child from a low-income family wanting a corporate career, I would say, “Go for it. Believe in yourself!” The corporate world might sound scary, but if you believe in yourself, nothing is a brick wall.

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