Capgemini Digital Directors brave journey through life and career

Capgemini Digital Director's brave journey through life and career

 July 17, 2020

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Having joined Capgemini UK more than 20 years ago as a young single parent, Digital Director Rebecca Hudson has risen through the ranks and is thriving in her career.

Working in the position of Head of HMRC MU Digital Delivery Centres, Rebecca oversees around 500 digital specialists across the UK and ensures Capgemini accelerates the success of their clients across both the Public and Private sector.

Where Women Work caught up with Rebecca to hear about her career, the challenges she has faced with great bravery along the way, and to seek her career advice for women interested in joining Capgemini.

Developing user-centric digital products and services

Capgemini’s Digital Delivery Centres (DDCs) support HMRC as the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority. The DDCs are responsible for delivery of a range of user-centred services, including services to support Making Tax Digital (MTD), Payments processing, Government Gateway, EU Exit and the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), and Capital Gains Tax (CGT). 

“I’m responsible for providing our client with a capability that delivers user centric products and services that meet government standards utilising Agile and DevOps ways of working.  My job is to support HMRC’s strategic transformation and digital by default agenda. We deliver exemplar services that improve UK citizen experiences for HMRC with a key focus on having a positive impact on people's lives,” Rebecca explains. “Our core strengths are in the experience we’ve built in developing user-centric digital products and services, plus our ability to provide a world class capability in response to client demand.”

Enjoying problem solving and helping others with their careers

Rebecca enjoys the variety of her role, along with the challenge of problem solving and helping others develop their careers.

“We are able to improve our government infrastructure and the services offered to UK citizens which in turn can positively impact people's lives and the economy – this is hugely satisfying and a key reason that I’ve chosen to serve the public sector for 20 years,” she says. 

“We’re also so privileged to be able to help develop people’s careers - we have invested heavily in emerging talent and re-skilling experienced people to introduce new capabilities. Over recent years we’ve helped people progress to be successful both within and beyond Capgemini.”

“The team we have developed has played a fundamental role in supporting the Covid crisis on behalf of HMRC – delivering critical services that directly support the UK economy and people in desperate financial need. The pandemic has driven a notable shift in organisational priorities across the UK Industry and how they interact with the government. The work we have done in this space has taught us valuable lessons in terms of how we can significantly cut organisational costs whilst driving productivity through the roof.”

There are many challenges within Rebecca's role but she likes to see each challenge as an opportunity and always chooses to face them head on. 

“One challenge is the sheer scale of our operation and ensuring we pick the right priorities to drive the business in the right direction - we work in a continuously evolving industry so keeping up with the trends and driving the right decisions to remain competitive can be challenging - but it’s also why I love the job,” she says.

“Also, the more responsibility you get the harder it is to maintain a connection with people and develop personal relationships due to time.”

Combining work when family life is tough 

Rebecca bravely shares insight into the personal challenges she has faced during her adult life. At just 21 years old, and as a single mum to her daughter Jazmin, Rebecca held her brother’s hand as he lost his life to meningitis at the age of just 23.

Her brother was her best friend and Rebecca is unsure how she would have coped if she did not have the responsibility of raising Jazmin at the time. 

As a determined mother, Rebecca wanted to carve out a comfortable life for her daughter and make her proud. It was then, in 1999, that she seized an opportunity with EDS on the HMRC account through a government scheme designed to support people into work. 

“My career went from strength to strength and it has brought me a great deal of satisfaction and achievement over the years,” Rebecca shares. “Fast forward 12 years to 2008 and I was lucky enough to be able to take a year out on maternity leave when my son Jack was born. This time has to be one of the happiest periods of my life. From the minute he arrived Jack has always been a joy to be around.”

Capgemini Digital Director

IMAGE: Rebecca's daughter and son, Jazmin and Jack  

Soon after that Rebecca battled her next personal challenge as Jack was diagnosed with autism. “It became apparent as the months went by that Jack was struggling developmentally and by the time he was 18 months old he spent a large amount of time in his own little world,” Rebecca remembers. “Jack was referred for assessments and a diagnosis of autism soon followed.”

Rebecca had fallen pregnant again when Jack was small but sadly, after a very difficult pregnancy, her second son, Ethan, was stillborn. Rebecca describes the following years as an uphill struggle and where she faced periods of depression as well as anxiety.   

“As you can imagine, maternity leave this time around was a devastating period for our family compounded by the fact that we were also facing Jack's diagnosis with no idea what the future held for him,” Rebecca reflects. “It has been an uphill struggle over the years. However, watching Jack overcome his difficulties has been one of life’s most valuable lessons - I take less for granted, take life less seriously and I no longer beat myself up over things outside of my control. We will all meet our personal and professional goals, Jack included, at our own pace and we will all need support.”

The importance of a good support network

With a busy home life, Rebecca tries not to take everything on by herself and she advises others in similar situations not to be afraid of accessing support.

“I have learnt to seek out help and support to try and improve my work-life balance. I would advise others to build a network around themselves to support their needs immediately – whatever those needs might be at a given time, as life has a way of driving peaks and troughs,” she says.

Rebecca has built a strong support network at work as well as ensuring help is in place at home: “I have an amazing team around me at work that I learn from every day. I have a good homelife, and amazing family support network, which in turn supports Jack. I’ve also found over the years that therapy, life and leadership coaching help me work through ‘stuff’, regain perspective and reevaluate my goals.” 

Rebecca is grateful to Capgemini for supporting her through some of her most difficult times and she appreciates Capgemini’s positive work culture.

“Capgemini wholeheartedly supports a culture that embraces diversity and inclusivity and there is a focus on work-life balance, mentorship, support and employee assistance. We build a continuous improvement mindset and encourage experimentation through innovative thinking. People are also given freedom to drive
their careers and passions - entrepreneurial thinking is key,” she comments. “All of these elements result in a richer learning environment and a great place to work.”

Sharing advice with further women professionals

Rebecca is keen to share advice for women considering a career with Capgemini UK or who are early in their career journeys. 

  1. Always stay true to your values

    Integrity, honesty and trust are hugely important in building credibility in the workplace. Even if things don’t go as you expect you will always know that you tried your best to do the right thing, with the added advantage that it minimizes the risk of things ‘biting you on the backside’ in the future.
  2. Never stop learning

    Take responsibility for your own self development and keep yourself relevant as this will differentiate you from others and enable you to take your client’s success, and subsequently your career, to the next level.
  3. Don’t be afraid to employ people that know more than you

    Build a team of experts around you and use the team diversity to learn from each other and drive success.

Family time and self-development 

Rebecca concludes by summing up her personality and how she spends time outside of the workplace. As a busy mother, she describes herself as committed, ambitious and driven in all areas of her life. “My brain fires on all cylinders a lot of the time and covers a lot of ground,” she laughs. 

Professionally, Rebecca believes her team does an amazing job keeping up with the tempo and helping her to translate her energy into a coherent strategy. Meanwhile, at home, her main focus is to ensure her family feels loved, supported and able to pursue their dreams. 

Rebecca makes time to pursue her interests and embraces opportunities for growth and learning: “It’s so important to reconnect with yourself and retain your own sense of identity. We have numerous personas in life – boss, colleague, client, mother, daughter – it’s important that we make time to reconnect with who we are and what we need.”

She enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures - and says this helps remind her that there is a huge world out there full of inspiration and opportunity. She also reads regularly and takes part in Capgemini leadership courses. “I love gaining different perspectives from a wide variety of sources and I have an impressive collection of self help and leadership books,” she adds.

Since COVID-19 and the UK going into lockdown, Rebecca has committed to doing more exercise and this has done wonders for her mental wellbeing. And, most importantly, she always prioritises spending time with her family: “If they’re happy, I’m happy,” she says. “I also draw an incredible amount of inspiration from them.”

Join inspirational women like Rebecca at Capgemini 

At Capgemini, women like Rebecca are empowered and supported to progress in their careers while managing their outside responsibilities and interests.

Learn more about the types of jobs Capgemini UK recruits for by searching their latest job opportunities.


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