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“Supporting women’s learning & advancement is a duty that contributes to a more inclusive world”

Accenture Mauritius’ dedication to fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity extends far beyond the confines of its organisation and interactions with clients, Shalini Jugessur says. Recognising the pivotal role of technology and digital literacy in today’s rapidly evolving landscape, particularly in the post COVID-19 pandemic era, the Managing Director underlines the imperative to bridge the digital divide and the gender gap.

2024 marks the 20th year Accenture is celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD). “It’s an opportunity for us to engage in open, honest and meaningful conversations to further advance gender equality,” Claire McCaffery, the Chief Human Resources Officer of Accenture New Zealand, writes. Could you guide us through the global strategy of Accenture with regards to this statement?

SHALINI JUGESSUR, Managing Director, Accenture
SHALINI JUGESSUR, Managing Director, Accenture

Inclusion and Diversity is at the heart of our strategy. We share the utter belief that people can be at their best in an environment where they feel they belong. Our business, that of being the best technology and the best team to enable our clients to transform their businesses, means that we have to hire and develop people with different backgrounds, different perspectives and different lived experiences. These differences ensure that we have and attract the cognitive diversity to deliver a variety of perspectives, observations and insights which are essential to drive the innovation needed to reinvent. 


One pillar of this journey is the advancement of women, and having the right environment, culture and processes to help women grow. International Women’s day is an opportunity for us to reflect on what has been done already, to speak about barriers and solutions that need to be implemented to break those barriers.  


Empowering our people to be without limits this International Women’s Day” is an ambition which the group has made very visible this month. What is the philosophy behind this theme, and why the focus on this particular aspect?


Being without limits has a different meaning for each and every one of us. For me, it means leaving no stones unturned when paving one’s path, and about turning each and every challenge into an opportunity to learn and grow. Our theme encourages everyone to reflect on their limits, challenge them and think about how to grow and thrive beyond limits. There can be no innovation if there are limits. Through this, we want our people to take the power to go beyond and deliver the best for our clients and communities.


The Chief Human Resources Officer mentioned earlier added that, “I’ve been at Accenture now for nearly 20 years, working in a range of local, regional and global HR roles. In that time, I’ve become a working parent, and at times have been a single mum. The flexibility and support Accenture has provided to me is one of the main reasons I have stayed here, so I know first-hand the importance of our policies that shape an inclusive working culture.” Is this flexibility and support across the board in all jurisdictions, and how is it replicated in Mauritius?

I can totally relate. I have been with Accenture for 15 years, starting as an Associate Manager. I have two teenagers, both born during my tenure in the Company. Flexibility and support is also one of the two main reasons I stayed, the second one being the complexity and international exposure of the roles I have been in. 

In Mauritius, we offer flexible work arrangements like part-time, compressed work weeks and hybrid work and so on for those who require them during specific phases of their lives. We have extended our maternity leaves to 16 weeks and our paternity leaves to 8 weeks. 

Our policies and practices are designed to level the playing field for both men and women, and benefit working mothers, working dads, and even those who need to take care of their parents.


Achieving the gender parity global goal by 2025 is one of the main objectives of Accenture. Can we have an idea of where you have reached so far? What initiatives are being taken to actively champion gender equality?

We believe that the future workforce is an equal one, and we are committed to gender equality. This is why we boldly published our goal of reaching 50/50, as well as 30% of women in leadership positions by 2025. Our 360° value reporting includes our gender diversity ratio as of our KPIs to our shareholders. 

As of today, globally, women constitute 48% of our workforce, 33% of our executives and 52% of our boards of directors. In addition, 30% of our managing directors are women.

In Mauritius, we have reached 56% women in our workforce, 34% at executive level, and 100% at managing director level.

We act on our commitment to gender equality by providing targeted support, flexible work arrangements, comprehensive training programs, mentorship and coaching, internally or through our international partners. We have a powerful women network spread out in 150 locations, with an amazing number of successful women that we can look up to.


In Mauritius, we have reached 56% women in our workforce, 34% at executive level, and 100% at managing director level.


Accenture Mauritius decided, this year, to make Rodrigues the centre stage of its IWD celebrations, notably through the inauguration of a tech lab. How did this idea crop up? 

In every country where we operate, we care deeply about the impact that we make. Our commitment is to create positive change, acting as a responsible business for our people, for our clients and for the communities in the country we call home, both on the environmental and societal fronts.

The tech lab initiative of Accenture is designed to equip women with critical computer skills, a necessity in today’s world that is only set to become more prominent in the future. This effort underscores a broader commitment to ensuring that women of all ages are not left behind in the digital age, which could exacerbate existing inequalities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the digital transition across various sectors like banking, retail, social spaces, and public services, making it imperative for everyone to adapt. In alignment with Accenture’s values, the company has trained a group of trainers who will then offer computer training to women. This initiative is part of a larger philosophy that progress for women signifies progress for families and society at large. Supporting women’s learning and advancement is a duty that contributes to a more inclusive, equal world.

Rodrigues is an extension of the work that we do for communities in Mauritius, under our ‘Skills to Succeed Corporate Citizenship’ program. We have built tech labs and conference rooms, and provided information technology training to numerous organisations in Mauritius like the Global Rainbow Foundation for children with disabilities, Lizié Dan Lamé, L’Ecole des Sourds, Mauritius Alliance of Women, amongst others. 

As part of our IWD celebrations this year, we collaborated with La Commission de La Femme et de La Famille in Rodrigues to set up a computer lab, with state of the art equipment, on their premises in Malabar. We also delivered ‘train the trainer’ courses to ten designated staff of the commission, empowering them to be autonomous in delivering trainings to women entrepreneurs in Rodrigues. 

It was a moment of great pride for me to see the project come to life in Rodrigues, and to have been able to make a difference.


What do you treasure from this mission of gathering women from diverse traditional businesses in Rodrigues, and where do we go from here? 

The feeling of a work well done! Being computer and technology literate in this world is an imperative. If women are excluded from access to digital tools, this can only increase the gender gap. Giving access to IT to these women means that they will be able to use a computer and applications to increase their productivity and scale up their businesses. In an era of e-commerce, the possibilities are endless for them to extend their businesses and products beyond their shores. Our next phase will target children and youngsters of Rodrigues, an extension of our ‘Cracking the code’ initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.


Working at the heart of change isn’t just a job – it’s a mind-set, a philosophy, a way of life. It’s about embracing new ideas, challenging the status quo, and never settling for anything less than extraordinary. ” This Facebook post of Accenture Mauritius dates back to last Wednesday. Could you elaborate on it in the context of IWD and beyond? 

Accenture is a global company of 733 000 people, worldwide, providing services to more than 9000 clients in 120 countries. We serve more than 90 Fortune 100 clients and many multinationals who expect nothing but the best from us. Our purpose is to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity, helping our clients to innovate and transform their businesses. Innovation means that we have to rethink every day, it means that we cannot settle on status-quo, it means that we have to challenge our limits every day. And our IWD theme is exactly this: challenging ourselves to bring out the best versions of ourselves every day.


The month of March is also the one where Mauritius celebrates its Independence. Accenture positioned itself, in its message on that occasion, as the architect of change, embodying the spirit of progress with unique talents shining brightly on the international stage. What makes Accenture Mauritius so?

Accenture in Mauritius is part of the global network. We operate in the exact same way as any Accenture entity worldwide, with the same processes and policies, and remain guided by our core values and unique code of business ethics. 

We are dedicated to adding value to our clients’ businesses, but we also harbour a deeper mission: to make a societal and environmental impact in the countries where we operate. Accenture leverages its expertise in technology, digital innovation, and artificial intelligence to serve numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations voluntarily. This is part of the commitment to Corporate Citizenship, Skills to Succeed, and Tech for Good programs—all aimed at fulfilling the promise of sustainable value and fostering an inclusive world where everyone, regardless of gender, can find their place.

We are committed to running our business responsibly and to be a good corporate citizen in Mauritius. We invest massively in talent and in building highly skilled people in Technology, people who are the sons and daughters of Mauritius, and who will help our young country progress. Integrating our principles of equality and equity can only make things better, as it is the right thing to do.

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