Capgeminis Lucie Taurines embraces equity in STEM

Capgemini's Lucie Taurines embraces equity in STEM

 March 08, 2023

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Meet Financial Services expert Lucie Taurines, who is Global Head of Digital Inclusion at Capgemini.

For years, Lucie has worked closely with the social sector, with her focus on employability and empowerment of under-served communities. One key lesson Lucie has learned through this experience is that technology is a powerful and indispensable tool for progress and development.

In her current role, Lucie ensures that Capgemini continues to be a truly responsible company through real and positive impact on society. By sharing skills, expertise and its vast network, Capgemini strives for an inclusive and sustainable digital future.

"With the digital gap deepening in the society, the need of the hour is a strong ecosystem to support the synergy between business leaders and state/non-state actors working towards social development. As I work to create that strong ecosystem, my ultimate goal is to make Digital Inclusion an integral part of Capgemini’s DNA and backbone. In the process and through powerful success stories, my ambition is to showcase to the world, the power of unexplored talent pools often ignored due to lack of representation," explains Lucie.

Continuing her commitment to Digital Inclusion, International Women's Day (IWD) sees Lucie pen a thought-leadership article on a topic close to her heart: how to encourage girls to seek more opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM).

Barriers to girls' education

Lucie explains how, on a macro level, the continuous advancement of girls’ education holds enormous potential for the growth of our entire society. Meanwhile, on a micro level, it can serve to improve the lives of individual girls from more typically disadvantaged communities immensely, along with their families.

"It's no secret that this is a cause that is close to my heart, however, I was surprised to learn just how much companies are also benefiting from talented, higher-educated women that are entering the workforce. For example, Forbes found that 60.2% of gender diverse companies report increased profits and productivity - and 56.8% claim a heightened ability to attract and retain talent. Additionally, 54.4% report greater creativity, innovation, and openness - and 54.1% note an enhanced company reputation. So, if everyone stands to gain here - why are some girls still being held back?" says Lucie.

"Thanks to the heightened democratization of education stemming from the proliferation of new mediums - especially in the post-pandemic world - accessibility to quality learning has never been higher. However, deeply-ingrained barriers in the education of girls persist - and are proving difficult to solve. These barriers come in many forms: general poverty, child marriage practices, male-child favoritism when investing in education, etc. And sometimes, the reality is that schools do not meet the safety, hygiene, or sanitation needs of their female students," adds Lucie.

Learning to prioritize growth

According to Lucie, even when communities and parents are fully onboard with advancing the education of their girls to the fullest, many times it is the first thing to fall by the wayside when other tasks come up. In these communities, women are expected to deprioritize courses or training to attend to domestic or family healthcare responsibilities, while men are free to do the opposite. 

Lucie cites an example from her years working abroad, where it was quite common to hear comments like, “oh, I can’t attend our training today because I need to take care of my little sister while my mother is sick - and I also need to clean the house and do the laundry.” Supporting this point, Lucie draws on research from Gallup that reveals women are more likely than men to feel burned out at work - 34% vs. 26% - and the burnout gender gap has more than doubled since 2019. 

"When speaking directly with children and asking them about their ideal jobs, the Indian boys I spoke with typically wanted to play cricket - and girls wanted to have a career in Bollywood. Similarly, when I used to live in the Philippines working for an NGO, the Filipino boys we interviewed wanted to be professional basketball players (the most popular sport in the Philippines), while the girls wanted to be singers. But, when we would point out that this wasn’t necessarily realistic, they would revert to jobs that seemed more accessible to them - typically the same occupations as their parents," continues Lucie.

Shifting more to the west, Lucie remembers Paul Hermelin writing about stereotypes and how they influence how girls see themselves within society. He commented how in the US, it has been measured that girls tend to disengage from technical studies between 12 and 15 years old.

"These cultural norms and developments are having a knock-on effect. For example, within STEM, the gender gap is widening. Only 35% of STEM studentsglobally are girls, with huge differences observed within STEM disciplines. We’re also losing potential young female professionals that could become mentors and role models. According to Cornelia Levy-Bencheton, author of “Women in Data,” only 17% of C-suite technology leaders are women - and just 15% of CIOs specifically are women," Lucie says.

Shaping future currents and encouraging STEM flow

"It’s clear from the above examples that our society and culture really impact the representation of girls and youth in certain areas of work. This is why we need to build bridges to close the gaps in representation. For me, inspiring the children and young adults mentioned above by mentoring them, increasing their self-confidence, and showing them the possibilities STEM careers hold is critical. This means developing programs that help foster equity across the wider community - but also win hearts and minds across generations within individual homes and workplaces. For example, our ACE of STEM project is helping to improve equitable access to STEM education across many geographies," explains Lucie.

Cappgemini's ACE of STEM project is based on driving the following initiatives:

  • STEM awareness: Introducing STEM among young children and adults and debunking misconceptions about women in tech
  • STEM skills: Equipping students with STEM skills in schools and colleges through dedicated events
  • STEM competitions: Organizing or participating in competitions that help students develop their STEM skills
  • Mentoring: Getting our professionals to provide mentorship and guidance to young students and their ecosystems

Meanwhile, Capgemini's Enlight Program in India brings education to girls from disadvantaged families, including girls with disabilities, or from poor and homeless families. This program is helping to protect women against violence by addressing the social conditions and biases that deny access to basic facilities for girls and women.

Embracing culture and changing minds 

Lucie is proud that these initiatives are driving great progress in encouraging girls to seek more opportunities in STEM, and nurturing women’s professional growth across all levels. At Capgemini in India, women professionals now constitute over 40% percent of Capgemini's workforce. Meanwhile, thanks to Capgemini's Enlight Program, more than 90% of participating children have improved their competency levels in reading, writing, and arithmetic - and parents and partnering communities have shown a greater awareness of the issues at stake here.

"Many challenges remain; however, I’m thrilled to be a part of these unique Capgemini initiatives - and I’m looking forward to embracing equity together, so nothing holds us back in 2023," adds Lucie.

Capgemini employs many impressive thought leaders

By joining Capgemini, women can enjoy a thriving company and become part of a diverse global collective of free-thinkers, entrepreneurs and industry experts.

The women at Cap[gemini are driven to use technology to re-imagine what’s possible. 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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