“In today’s dynamically changing world, technical skills, continuous learning, and adaptation are key,” said Dr. Aleksandra Suchorzewska from Accenture in an interview with Future Collars during the 5th international edition of Women in IT Day.
Future Collars (FC): Is there a universal set of skills and competencies that are essential for every employee in various industries to keep up with the rapidly changing job market?
Aleksandra Suchorzewska (AS): It’s hard to point to a specific list, but there are certainly key attitudes we should cultivate. The first is the ability to continuously learn and improve, which is extremely important in today’s fast-changing world. The second is the ability to actively listen and empathize with others, which is an important aspect of collaboration. The third competency is developing technical skills, especially in the IT industry, where they are the foundation of our work.
FC: Are the first and last points you mentioned closely related to continuous learning?
AS: Absolutely. The IT industry is changing rapidly, and what we learned a few weeks ago can quickly become outdated. Many employees still think that being an expert in one field will always keep them up-to-date. However, it is now necessary to have a wide range of competencies. The ability to adapt to new technologies is crucial, as well as the awareness that our knowledge and skills must be constantly updated.
FC: Who is more open to change: men or women? Is there a rule?
AS: There is no simple answer to this question. However, I would like to point out that women, including myself, should be more open to technology. This industry is not as difficult as it may seem. It is important for women to show that they can succeed professionally while also managing other important aspects of life, such as family. Communication and collaboration between genders are key. The willingness to change and adapt is important for both women and men.
FC: Does Accenture implement projects promoting openness and courage in taking on challenges in difficult fields?
AS: Yes, at Accenture we do a lot to encourage women to join our ranks. We run various programs, trainings, coaching sessions, and also work at universities and schools, promoting the desire to enter the IT industry. Despite these efforts, it still seems insufficient. Education in homes is also needed. We strive to increase diversity, which we consider our strength. We try to show that diversity translates into greater efficiency and better work results. I hope that in the future we will be able to increase the number of women in our teams, although currently they only make up about 20% of our workforce. Diversity, including gender diversity, is very important to us, and we believe it is the key to success in the technology industry.
FC: What is a ‘must-have’ for a new candidate in the IT industry? How is the evaluation of a future employee’s competencies conducted?
AS: The important traits we look for in IT industry candidates are not just technical skills. We highly value flexibility, the ability to work in different areas, and continuous learning. Soft skills are also key, such as communication, empathy, and listening ability, which are important in terms of collaboration and management. In the competency evaluation process, we focus not only on checking the technical skills of candidates but also on their approach to learning, adapting in a changing work environment, ability to work in a team, and how they deal with uncertainty and the speed of change in technologies. We use a holistic approach to assessing competencies, considering both technical aspects and personal predispositions of candidates.
The 5th edition of “Women in IT Day 2023,” under the theme “Technology is changing the world before our eyes – be a part of this breakthrough!” was organized by Future Collars, in cooperation with EWA European Women’s Association and DIGITALEUROPE, as part of the Erasmus+ project. “Women in IT Day 2023” is a free online conference dedicated to women who want to consciously shape their career paths in IT. The event offers eight hours of an intensive program, including lectures, debates, meetings with potential employers, workshops, speed mentoring sessions, and a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.
The main goal of the event is to support women in the technology sector through education, relationship building, and mentorship. It features female leaders and experts from the Polish and European IT industry, sharing their knowledge and experience.
Future Collars, the primary organizer, is an online school for programming and digital skills, offering unique teaching methods. It is aimed both at individuals looking to change their career direction and enter the world of IT, and at companies seeking effective developmental programs for their employees.
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