5 Minutes With Rachel Owen - Senior Consultant, CGI UK

Thu, March 11th, 2021

This International Women's Day we sat down for Five Minutes With Rachel Owen...

This International Women's Day we sat down for Five Minutes With Rachel Owen - Senior Consultant, CGI UK.

What is your current role at CGI?

I’m the Programme Management Office Lead at CGI, for one of our key accounts in Liverpool.
I spend a lot of my day working with the senior team on the governance and assurance for the account, and working closely with our client to ensure we are delivering to agreed timelines and standards.

Can you provide an example of a time in your life that you challenged yourself and what you learned from this?

When I think back across my career, there have been many times that I have taken on challenges as this is the best way to see where you want your next steps to take you. The example I would like to use happened just as I returned to work, 11 months after having my second child. My line manager asked me if I would train to become an NVQ assessor, to help our colleagues gain a work based qualification to recognise the great work they did. Although training and development has always been my passion, I was nervous - would my “baby brain” cope with the pressure of running a team across the country, together with putting in the time needed to train and qualify?

Well, I couldn’t have loved it more than I did! I was able to spend time getting to know my new colleagues, finding out what they wanted to get out of their career and, what’s more, I could really fine-tune my coaching skills. Although juggling a career, two children, travelling for work and training to become an NVQ assessor really tested me at times, I also learnt a lot about myself. I learnt how much I loved my job, how resilient you become when you can see the difference you are making with people’s careers, and how to deal with the ever-increasing worry of my work-life balance.

At the end of a long year, I qualified as an NVQ assessor and helped around 40 people achieve an NVQ qualification that really cemented their career - for this, I could not be prouder! I actually went on to qualify as a NVQ verifier, helping my peers who wanted to support and guide our colleagues through this excellent opportunity to get a worked based qualification.

What advice do you have for women starting out in business careers?

  • Set yourself some goals - I always have a plan of the things I want to achieve
  • Have confidence in your own ability - never doubt what you can achieve
  • Be open and honest, always - This is advice not just in business but in life, you always get the best when people see the real you – warts and all 

Who is your role model in business?

This changes all the time, but it’s always people who are supportive and constructive, and those who strive to be inclusive and push to get the best out of their team.

What’s your International Women’s Day message?

In line with the #choosetochallenge, I choose to challenge being open and honest. This is something I always want to be known for; always doing what is right and holding your hands up if things go wrong. You can learn from your mistakes if you are honest enough to admit them in the first place, this is how you move on and become stronger and ready for the next challenge.

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