Creating equity in Valtech

Accelerating into Leadership

Accelerating into Leadership
Sheree Atcheson
Group VP Diversity & Inclusion

maart 04, 2022

We’re excited to share an update about our new Accelerating into Leadership programme at Valtech, which is part of our Diversity & Inclusion 5-pillar strategy, under Inclusivity.

We recognise we’re on a journey here and to help propel us, we’re launching our new leadership programme. From analysing our data, we know our leadership teams are mostly homogeneous. Whilst we do have more diversity within our junior and mid-level roles, we lack that same diversity in leadership.  

In 2021, 45% of all new hires were women. We are proud of this progress, and we’re keen to build on it, expanding on the data we collect and supporting underrepresented Valtechies in their careers. 

This is why we’ve rolled out our Accelerating Into Leadership programme. 

 

At Valtech, we recognise that to create environments where everyone can thrive and meet their goals (whatever they may be), we must embrace equity in our strategy.

Why Equity & not Equality?

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Inequality: This is where we are right now. From a societal perspective, our world is inequal, granting access to opportunities to some, whilst simultaneously not providing that same access to others. 

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Equality is a step forward, however it is assuming everyone benefits from the same support - they’re being treated equally. It doesn’t take into consideration the nuances and different experiences people have, so it doesn’t directly address the issue at hand.

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Equity: If we give different support based on our people’s needs, it’s possible for them all to have equal access - they’re being treated equitably. It means we understand the differences of treatment that exist and directly intervene. 

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Justice: Everyone can see get what they need because the inequality has been completely erased. There is no longer a systematic barrier. 

 

Through this programme, we’re focused on equity. 

Accelerating into leadership programme

To aid progression for underrepresented groups within Valtech, alongside a number of other initiatives, we have formed our Accelerating into leadership (AiL) programme. The AiL programme, is here to help address our diversity of leadership, alongside providing a clear framework to aid the progression of underrepresented Valtechies, through providing structured meaningful sponsorship. 

Underrepresented means different things depending on where you are, so we’ve defined this per region. We’re focusing on sponsorship instead of mentorship because for us, that is much more active and focused, where the expectations of Sponsors are: 

  • Champion their protégés  visibility, often using their own platforms and reputation for exposure. 
  • Helps promote protégés directly, using their influence and networks to connect them to high-profile assignments, people, pay increases and promotions. 
  • Actively models behavior and involves protégés in experiences that enable progression 

 

“The vast majority of women and multicultural professionals need navigational support to advance in their careers but receive it less often than Caucasian men. Studies have shown that more women than men have been assigned mentors yet 15% more men won promotions. Why?  

The findings indicate that having more mentorship did not lead to advancement but having a senior advocate in a position to provide sponsorship did…” 

  

We have rolled out a 12-month pilot, across 6 regions (India, U.K., Argentina, Switzerland, Toronto & Chicago), covering 46 protégés (not all pictured). In each of these regions, protégés are paired with a senior leader within/close to their vertical (for example, if you’re an engineer, you’re paired with a senior engineering/tech leader), where they have the ability to get constructive feedback on progressing, visibility in the rooms their sponsor is in and access to their sponsors network.  

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Our goals

Our goal is clear – to create more equitable environments for all people to succeed. Through this programme, we hope to create a clear path to progression for our protégés, engaging senior leadership in their role as actively advocating for future leaders from different backgrounds. After 12 months, we’ll expand it across all of our offices, alongside focusing on wider groups of underrepresentation within our regions. 

Where we’re at right now

86% of protégés have never had a sponsor before and out of 5, protégés rate their ability to advocate for themselves at 3.2. Overall, 88% of protégés are confident in sharing ideas with their peer group, however only 58% are confident in sharing their ideas with leadership groups. 

Through this programme, we hope to increase these scores and provide protégés with the confidence, skills and ability to share and have their voice heard, whilst we also provide education and implement measures with senior leadership to ensure they are actively listening too. 

 

Stay up to date on all our Diversity & Inclusion activities by following us on LinkedIn and checking out our Diversity & Inclusion section. 

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