In Her Shoes: Ranju Bridges | PMO Manager, Capgemini

Who am I?

In Her Shoes- Ranju Bridges | PMO Manager, CapgeminiI joined Capgemini straight from university in 1986 as a graduate programmer, and progressed through the usual roles to PMO Manager, with short stints in HR and resourcing.

Following the birth of my first child, I requested part-time work in 2003, and have been part time ever since. It was still quite new at the time, so I faced a few issues in the early days, as managers were not quite sure how to deal with this new working pattern, but it is much more accepted now.

Juggling childcare and work has not always been easy, but I have usually had understanding managers and between us we’ve found a good balance. I’ve also had the good fortune to work from home quite a bit of the time, which has really helped.

Outside of work, these days, my time is generally taken up with various activities for the children, and organising tennis tournaments for the under-9s and under-14s.

My typical work day

If I’m going to the office, I’ll drop my youngest at the childminder at 7:45am, and then go to the office. I usually leave by 5, so that I can pick up from the childminder by 6:30pm.

If I’m working from home I’ll generally check my mails and respond to some of them before dropping my son at the childminder at 7:45am. I then start work around 8am, and finish at 5:30pm. Sometimes I need to take him to school instead, in which case I adjust my timetable slightly.

Planning my career

When I started working back in 1986, I was quite focused on enhancing my career through the project management role. However, since having children my focus has switched to doing roles that allow me a more balanced lifestyle, whilst still providing valuable input to my work. Capgemini has allowed this to succeed.

I firmly believe that flexible working is a give-and-take process: to get the balance you require, you need to be more flexible in the roles you take.

Managing my development

As long as I feel I am contributing and adding value to the job I am doing, I am fine. At the moment I do not feel any great urge to get promoted to the next level.

However, I do still want to make sure that I am progressing, so I am careful to stay up to date with developments, and also take on additional jobs like helping with recruitment, and being the diversity champion for the PMO community.

Highlights so far

Outside of work, my children are the highlight of my life. In work, it’s making friends who will stay with me beyond the work environment – and getting my latest promotion.
Best thing about working here

Without a doubt it’s the people – and then the variety of clients you can work for, which offers a lot of new experiences.

Support that I value

The best support has been from other part-time workers, sharing experiences and advice. Most of my managers (both line managers and project managers) have been very understanding and accommodating; this has really helped in juggling the work-life balance.

What’s next?

I am happy to continue as I am, and build a bigger network.

Advice to new joiners

Build a good network of people. Help and volunteer where you can. This is a people company, so you need to be a people person.

And finally…

I would like to say that I have never felt that I was disadvantaged, or faced any sort of discrimination as a woman in the company – either in terms of work offered or remuneration.

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