As the Group Talent Director of Capgemini, a worldwide leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, Anouska Ramsay devises strategies to help the organisation’s workforce of 210,000 employees thrive at work. Here, she chats to us about the world of work ahead of her upcoming talk at Belong.
Describe your job in 10 words or less…
My job is about helping people to thrive at work.
What was your first job? What was one thing you learned from that and took forward with you in your career?
My very first job was working in a mustard factory. When I was a student, I worked on a mustard production line — it was an eye-watering experience. I learned that I didn’t really like mustard very much!
One of our tracks for this event is Inspiration. Where do you look for inspiration in your work, and how do you seek to inspire others with what you do?
I look for inspiration all around me such as in sport, arts, family, friends… I’m a true believer that life is a bit of a buffet and your inspiration is wherever you want to go and take it from. For me, inspiration is about building a jigsaw of things around me that inspire me, and passing that back on to others. It’s important to give people the time and listen to them, share experiences, too. Inspiration is in everything.
At Belong, we’ll also be looking at the theme of Insight. What’s the most surprising skill or aspect you’ve learned about yourself or the way you work?
I feel lucky that I’m now leading an organisation at a time where characteristics such as empathy, curiosity and being in touch with the people side of the organisation has now come to the forefront. It’s not necessarily a surprising thing, but I feel like my skills and my strengths are things that are now recognised that perhaps weren’t before.
One of the things I’ve recently learned is that I have got an incredibly high appetite for learning. I count myself as a continuous apprentice — that’s my mindset. I’m always open to learning new things. I didn’t quite know it was as significant as it was, so that was quite an interesting insight for me. I’ve always been open to new ways of working, but I didn’t realise that this continuous apprentice mindset is such a big part of who I am — and probably one of the things that makes me fulfil the ambitions I’ve got.
We’re also going to explore the subject of Inclusion. How did you build a sense of community within what you do?
I’d be horrified if there wasn’t one. I think being open about who I am and my vulnerabilities allows people to feel as though they can share more about who they are at work without fear of any retribution or judgement. You need to show those parts of yourself and bring your whole self to work — if you do that, it’s very difficult for others not to.
What can people expect to learn from you at Belong?
Engagement at a theoretical level is one thing, but how it works in practice in the real world and how it feels to implement, test, learn, fail and pick yourself back up is quite another.