Where Women Work took the opportunity to speak with Anahita and learn all about her exciting, fast-moving career.
Fast progression up the tech ladder
“It feels as if I climbed up a mountain and got to its peak and now I want to help further people in their journeys,” says Anahita, describing how it feels to be honoured through TechWomen100.
The word ‘mountain’ is no exaggeration when looking over Anahita’s exciting career journey. She joined Sogeti shortly after receiving her MsC in Computer Science from Queen Mary University of London and climbed her way up to Managing Consultant within the space of four years.
It was her exceptional performance in delivering client engagements and a strong contribution to internal company operations that led to her quick promotion, as well as her approach to technology, customers and services.
“I joined Sogeti as a graduate after being a developer for a few months. I was initially on the path of software testing but I soon was asked to join the Application Development and New Technology business unit which led me on a different career path,” Anahita comments. “My desire for innovation and for running projects pushed me up the career ladder at a rapid speed.”
Discovering the keys to tech success
Happy to share the secrets behind her fast and impressive early-career promotion at Capgemini, Anahita says there are three keys to her success.
“Firstly, I was given a challenge at a very early stage of my career – to take on a role that I had no experience in and start a project with no senior person above me. All my manger told me before sending me off to the project was ‘if you mess up, come back’. The last thing I wanted was to go back. I am an independent person, but the fact that I had no one to tell me what to do, made me forge my own way.
“Secondly, I needed courage and to not give up when the journey got tough. Finally, I also had curiosity at every step. The excitement of dealing with the unknown and exploring new opportunities opened up my career.”
“I believe everyone needs that one person - whether it’s a manager, mentor or friend - to guide them through the hidden way forward,” Anahita reflects.
A day in the life of Anahita at Capgemini
Today, Anahita works as a Digital Transformation Consultant at Capgemini UK, where she uses innovation to embrace change in the workplace and mediates across client teams to generate positive outcomes.
She outlines the main responsibilities of her current role: “I work as a bridge between the organisation’s current state and the vision for the future. My responsibilities are understanding the need of a particular team or sector within the organisation for a change or improvement, investigating their problems and gathering requirements. Then, with my team, we come up with technical solutions or operational processes that help them to achieve their goals. Once we have the roadmap ready, we help them to implement those solutions.”
“Working for a consultancy firm means you could do anything from analysis, design, coding, testing, UX to finance and planning. Our projects are often about designing or redesigning an information management system for our clients,” she adds.
Motivating and inspiring young professionals
Alongside the daily responsibilities of her Capgemini role, Anahita is passionate about training, mentoring and assisting young professionals. She has created a training roadmap for junior talents within Digital Customer Experience, providing a viable route for women’s advancement.
She also promotes cultural transformation using modern training methods and has led a youth leadership initiative called Meet The Future, which was a calling for young employees from different backgrounds to learn about leadership.
“Alongside my role, I led the Meet the Future youth leadership programme and worked as a social secretary to promote cultural transformation to improve colleagues’ productivity and engagement,” she says.
In addition, Anahita supports Capgemini’s partnership with Code Your Future - a developer course to create a Digital Academy providing digital skills training to refugees and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to joining this project, Anahita co-founded volunteer campaign Change the Future to leverage technology to help educate displaced children in refugee camps.
Advice for further women looking to join Capgemini
With such impressive achievements under her belt, Anahita is keen to share some top tips with further women who wish to work with Capgemini:
don’t be afraid of the tech industry
be yourself – it’s important to be who you are at work
be adventurous and explore what is outside your day job – Anahita believes being part of different initiatives has attributed to her career progression
never stop learning – "I have always had a course/certificate running in the background, I am currently doing a course in methodology," says Anahita
look after your health – working in tech can mean long hours. To keep physically, mentally and psychologically fit, Anahita does yoga and meditation, wears flat shoes and eats avocado instead of drinking coffee
Anahita values the flexible working style at Capgemini and the company’s supportive culture. She advises further women that they will feel welcome and be offered every opportunity to succeed with the business: “People care about each other and support each other, especially the new joiners. We have busy and hard days but we make sure there is laughter and joy at work too,” she comments.
“There is so much support and plenty of resources available to employees throughout their careers; including training (online and classroom sessions), mentors, a women’s network, parental support, mental health support and various employee benefits,” Anahita continues. “Overall, Capgemini is a company that encourages both modesty and boldness. It’s a friendly place.”
Enjoying a fulfilling life outside of work
With a busy career and involvement in industry initiatives, one might wonder whether Anahita has time to pursue additional interests. However, thanks to Capgmeini’s flexible culture, Anahita has plenty going on away from the office.
Outside of Capgemini, Anahita was involved in The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, assisting young people who want to transform lives. She is also planning a seminar for young professionals who are unsure about their career direction. Her ethos considers the potential of younger generations as they lead technology into the future.
“The younger generation observe, perceive and understand the world differently to their older peers. They have developed different skills, a fresh mind-set and they are looking for a new story,” says Anahita. “Millennials are looking for companies with values such as dignity, humanity, unity and compassion. I think more young professionals are looking for a purpose-driven career rather than profit-driven, where they can bring something meaningful to people and to the environment.”
In addition, Anahita ensures she finds moments to enjoy personal hobbies and activities: “I am a yoga instructor and I also pursue my passion for Latin dancing - when I am not at work or on the yoga mat, I am on the dance floor,” she laughs. “However, helping children is my top priority. I have been volunteering in refugee camps and my mission is to reach out more to refugee and asylum children, to help them build their future.”