AfroTech sat down with Nicole Flowers, Accenture’s Northeast Cloud Practice lead to learn more about how Accenture is reimagining the future of work and prioritizing equity. Nicole is passionate about supporting people’s potential to be productive through resources such as autonomy, positive mental health, digital skills, health policies, supportive leadership and ability to create value through digital capabilities.
Culture of Equity
Equality is never the only goal; equity is just as important. Equity cannot exist without equality, and both are critical to thrive and succeed. The ever-changing workforce requires a reconciliation of the past before moving forward into more diverse, inclusive and equitable spaces.
Flowers works hard to foster an equity approach that includes robust programming, specialized training, networking opportunities, flexible work schedules, mentoring, mental health resources, equal benefits to same-sex couples where local law permits and more.
“Accenture has been using a forward-thinking approach to helping community college students develop in-demand skills needed to thrive in today and tomorrow’s digital economy,” Flowers pointed out. “We have partnered with community colleges across the United States to participate in year-long apprenticeship programs giving participants hands-on experience with advanced technologies.”
Accenture makes these things possible through the power of trust and transparency by setting goals and collecting data to drive meaningful change towards a more equitable culture. In fact, Accenture is the first professional services to publish their workforce demographics publicly in 2016. For Accenture, creating this more-inclusive environment includes:
- Combating Racism: Accenture is committed to diversity for all—including racial and ethnic diversity, and that means enforcing policies that reject discriminatory practices and advance racial and ethnic equity. By supporting programs and communities, such as ethnicity-focused employee resource groups (ERGs), Accenture creates space for people to feel safe and learn about ways to continue to grow in knowledge and understanding about diverse cultures and ethnicities.
- Gender Equality: The future of the workforce must be balanced. Accenture is working to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025. This means a workforce that is equally 50% women and 50% men for those who self-identified gender is binary. Currently, Accenture employs over 300,000 women globally, and 50% of its external board of directors and 27% of the global management committee are women.
- An Environment of Well-being: Accenture creates space to support mental health and wellness. With resources that include training about healthier habits, a 24-hour employee assistance program and access to mental health allies, Accenture fosters a resilient workforce to keep its people healthy, happy and productive.
Flowers and the team at Accenture believe that the success of the future workforce is a responsibility all organizations should embrace, and they should work to provide solutions that further develop people and advance productivity.
“We seek to inspire business leaders to develop the future workforce by tackling three pillars: 1) growing the workforce, 2) understanding customers’ expectations and 3) shareholder commitment. In order to create the best organization possible, organizations ought to grow their workforce by increasing employee engagement and decreasing turnover,” Flowers explained.
A Thoughtful Approach
Although perfection is not realistic, Accenture is a thought leader in the future of the workplace. Its dedication to innovative practices and equitable modes is undeniable, and its employees are experiencing the immense benefits of such intentional work. It is paramount that, as the workforce changes and society evolves, people feel supported and safeguarded — not only for the success of the organization but for the success of the individual.
For Accenture, the health, safety and well-being of their people remains their top priority. Accenture’s future of work is diverse and flexible to support the spectrum of work and the people they employee. There is no “one size fits all.” Through the use of advanced technologies such as the metaverse, Accenture is implementing new ways of working, moving beyond a remote or hybrid model to bring the omni-connected experience to life—an inclusive, connected culture and experience built on equality and diverse opportunities to ensure all people can feel they belong, advance, thrive and build careers that they love.
Visit here to learn more about Accenture’s inclusive culture and how you can match your ingenuity with the latest technology to make incredible things.