Cognizant Softvision’s VP of Delivery Strategy Ines Casares spoke to nearly 200 people recently as a featured speaker at an event presented by Cognizant Women Empowered and the Center for the Future of Work. The event, titled Inclusion in Tech: The Work of Belonging, included a number of high-profile speakers, including Professor at Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and former Navy fighter-pilot, Mary “Missy” Cummings; and Founding Program Director of Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship New York, Judith Spitz, PhD.
Casares anchored a panel discussion focused on ‘Rooting Out Entrenched Bias and Growing a New Culture,’ spending the bulk of her energy emphasizing the need to be human and to grow people as well as the business.
When asked about how to deal with, and ultimately, eradicate bias in the workplace, Casares had this to say:
“The way to get rid of a bias in an organization is the same as in everyday life. If we try to humanize the way we are with employees, or the way we look at their careers, we’re no longer thinking about segments of people. This is who you are and who you will be in two years if you follow this path. We become more human in trying to match what every one of our collaborators is looking for at this job. You may have hundreds of thousands of employees, but for each of them, they have only one employer. And we’re it. So they choose us every day so we in turn need to look at their careers as an individual path.”
Additionally, with respect to what can be done from a cultural standpoint to help with the talent issue, Casares responded:
“I think as organizations we have to understand that we have to provide a learning environment for our people, that we cannot grow our business if we don’t grow our people, and that there’s no such thing as a mistake-free growth or mistake-free innovation. If we want to grow, if we want to innovate, we have to give our people the necessary autonomy to bring the results that we’re asking from them, and that requires us to accept to trust them, right? And to accept failure as a way of working.”
The panel was moderated by Manish Bahl, AVP, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant. In addition to Casares, the panel also included Kristin B. Rodriguez, Chief Knowledge Officer, Health Plan Alliance.
Take a look to this sum up of the event: