We Are Allies – Case Studies
Here at Atos, our colleagues are the heart of our organisation. Each of our Atos colleagues has a unique story to tell, experiences and background that makes them who they are. We’re delighted to share some examples of the real people who work here at Atos, and hope you enjoy learning about their experiences working for Atos.
I’ve worked full time for Atos for 12 years and Atos have been with me through all my life changing events. I’d never considered “maternity leave” before, so I was reassured when I realised that Atos provides competitive maternity pay for its employees and has a flexible and compassionate return to work policy. Never have I had to justify the importance of wanting to spend time with my family and enjoy a good work life balance. Never have I had to sacrifice my career and its progress because I chose to have a family either.
Two years ago, owing to health issues, I had rapid menopause. Atos were, as you’d expect, extremely supportive of me taking the time off I needed to recover. What delighted and surprised me most however was Atos’ approach to supporting me when I returned to work. I’m now an Atos Menopause Ambassador taking time out of my normal day to day to offer help to Atos colleagues in similar situations.
I have been with Atos for almost 20 years. During my tenure I have progressed from a relatively junior role in a new Department to now having held the role of Senior Commercial Director for a large division of the Group for the past 3 years.
I am passionate about how excellent it is to work as a woman in the Technology Sector, and most specifically for Atos. During the last 20 years I have felt wholly supported and developed as my wider needs have changed and evolved. Atos has supported my career aspirations during the first part of my time with the Company through on the job training, external professional qualifications and relevant stretch assignments, through to opportunities for promotions and moves and invitations to participate in excellent Talent Programmes at local and Group level, in which Atos invests heavily. The combination of all of these saw me on an upwards trajectory in terms of seniority within the company during my first 5 years.
At our 20 week scan, we were told that our baby had Spina Bifida. It was completely unexpected, and resulted in my wife and baby to undergoing fetal surgery to repair baby’s spine. The fetal surgery is quite incredible, but it carries a lot of risk, so they don’t allow the pregnancy to go beyond 37 weeks, but it is still very likely that baby will arrive before this point – which she did. Eleanor arrived at 35 weeks and spent two weeks in hospital.
Atos’ prematurity baby leave policy had a massively beneficial impact to these first few weeks. I was able to take additional paid time off work to support my wife and daughter, while Ellie was in hospital. Due to the ongoing pandemic, visiting was very restricted throughout our hospital stay, and so the support family and friends could provide was limited – the policy meant I was able to be available the entire time, and fully focus on the wellbeing of my family. Crucially, it meant I was also able to spend time at home with Ellie, when she was discharged from hospital. This was important for me, in getting to spend time with my daughter outside of an incubator, but also for supporting my wife, who had gone through an incredibly tough pregnancy.
I joined Atos as a Programme/Portfolio Manager leading other PMs on several accounts, ultimately becoming Programme Director after successfully leading delivery and recovery of a number of transitions and accounts.
My early challenges and fears were rooted in my cultural background and upbringing in terms of trying to fit into the UK corporate and social culture, feeling confident and speaking up especially when more senior or assertive staff were involved. Being a vegetarian, non-beer drinker and not a football fanatic for example can make me feel alienated in some situations. Such challenges re-surfaced as I faced each new account, project, customer or stakeholder, sometimes sacrificing being ‘me’ and adapting to be what I thought others wanted me to be to succeed. Through perseverance, feedback, increased self-awareness, continuous learning and ultimately understanding and responding differently to these challenges, over time I have found ways to overcome them, better respond to them or indeed in some cases accept my differences so that I can be more “me”, more of the time resulting in more meaningful work relationships.
I’ve recently been appointed the role of Head of Health and Wellbeing in IAS and I’m currently making the transition over the next few weeks from my Engagement Lead role. I didn’t necessarily know when it was advertised that I was looking for a new role but I knew that I had more to offer the business and when I read the job description I instantly knew that it was something that I wanted to find out more about.
But of course, we all have those self-doubt demons that play havoc with our self-confidence. It was at this time that I reached out to my manager. She didn’t just give me encouragement and support, she genuinely seemed thrilled that I was considering applying for the role. To have her there, cheering me on really meant that I felt I had the backing to go for it.
Whenever we decide to take a step out of the comfort zone and challenge ourselves or put ourselves forward for something there is always a risk. But knowing that someone believes in you and wants you to succeed is an incredible feeling and in my case, taking the risk was worth it.