Creating a company culture, with Purnima Sen29/05/2020
In an interview with Purnima Sen, Operations & People Director at Sparta Global, we explored the role of women leaders - discussing career progression, leadership challenges and why Sparta Global is focused on building a diverse and inclusive company culture.
Tell us a little about your role at Sparta Global.
I am the Operations and People Director for Sparta Global - overseeing Operations (office and Academy), Compliance, HR, D&I, Consultant Engagement, IT and the overall people strategy for the organisation.
You are seen to be in a senior position in technology. What has been your story of career progression and securing a leadership role?
Before joining Sparta Global, I spent 16 years in a role at Valtech. An IT consultancy, I started out in a resource management role before moving into HR. I was able to help grow the company from 30 to 250 people in the time I was there. This expansion allowed me to bring in a host of new systems and processes and taught me a lot about growing pains and what worked/ did not work. I have used this experience and the to learn from my mistakes and brought that knowledge with me to Sparta Global. As Operations and People Director, I want to make sure the humancentric element of the business is not lost in translation.
What do you think makes a good leader?
Effective leaders trust in their people and their abilities to get the job done. They'll get out of people's way and let them take ownership of their work and use their initiative to create and innovate. Effective leaders also hold themselves accountable for success with a pretty high bar. But it all starts with the human hallmark of caring and concern. And the first question they ask should always be: What do you need from me so you're being set up for success?
In your experience, have you noticed any trends in gender-specific challenges or obstacles women face in your industry?
Within the tech industry, attracting women is a challenge. However, I think retention is even more pressing. Teams with a diverse gender makeup are able to come up with a wider range of solutions and we need to make sure our working environments are inclusive - doing away with stereotyping and removing barrier that keep people from being successful.
What do you suggest leaders in similar roles should do to promote and drive a company culture of inclusion?
It’s so important to create an environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect - irrespective of what diverse background they come from. We need to make sure all talents and skills are valued and encouraged. We must make sure diverse opinions are taken into account and incorporated into the wider business decisions we make. If we do not do this, we are not making decisions that are future proof and global. Creating this type of inclusive environment will ensure retention of diverse talent and the result will be happier, more collaborative and hugely motivated staff that will in turn increase business productivity.