Behind every successful woman is herself
The Accenture ‘When women meet women’ track stems from Accenture’s drive to support and empower people to (re)join the workforce and build a more inclusive world by doing so. The track created a match between fifteen Accenture colleagues and fifteen talented women with a refugee background. During the past six months, they had the invaluable opportunity to learn and grow together.
Held on International Women’s Day, the closing event couldn’t have been planned better. Together, the diverse group of women who took part in the event celebrated equality, inclusiveness and differences. It was an inspiring setting and a true example of this year’s IWD Theme “Break the bias”.
One of the team leads summed up the past few months: “I saw a great group of resilient women. A lot of amazing empowerment. It’s so impressive how much you’ve all grown and how far you’ve all come! Prejudice, bias, language barriers… I saw you working together to work through that, which was amazing to see. This really was a valuable mentoring program for everyone – for the mentees and also for mentors!”
The mentoring track consisted of recurring coaching sessions, several workshops and inspiring events. One of which stood out: the AmplifyHER event, organised by Nancy Poleon. An event about personal branding, standing for who you are and sharing your story… and becoming an authentic business professional by doing so. Nancy digitally shared some motivational thoughts with the group: “This mentoring track was a part of your journey towards more visibility. Your perspective, ideas and knowledge are very much needed. Keep using your voice and help other women make themselves visible. Play it forward!”
Participants found the track inspiring and meaningful, valued the teamwork, felt empowered and energised and really enjoyed learning to frame themselves and their talent. “It was so valuable and powerful!” said one of the participants from the bottom of her heart. “A life-changing experience that helped me reach beyond what I would have thought to be able to achieve.”
For the mentors, it was impressive to hear everyone’s stories, to learn a lot about working across cultures and to discover “that there is so much that bonds us”. With clear success factors such as creating a safe environment to be vulnerable, truly listening to each other and checking mutual understanding and the willingness to learn from each other, this clearly was a valuable experience for all involved.
Two couples shared parts of their personal and joint journeys with the group, making it even more tangible how valuable the past few months have been. From sharing childhood stories to meeting others along the way – inspiration went both ways. Both mentors agreed though: they didn’t do anything special; all they really did was listen and ask questions. Offering a little bit of support for their mentees’ potential to show itself. It was already a part of them, the seeds just needed a tiny bit of water.