David Filmer shares how he’s inspired to make the world a more inclusive place for his daughter to grow up in. He discusses his efforts to be an inclusive leader and supportive ally to the Women of CGI.

March 2024

To give some context as to why I feel so passionate about inclusion, I have a five-year-old (going on 15) daughter. She’s the most important person in my life and since becoming a dad, I’ve wanted to do what I can to make the world a tiny bit better. I know I’m not alone with that dynamic and have set a mini goal to help her be whatever she wants to be when she grows up, with no barriers. At the moment it's a vet with a pet unicorn so I’m ready for the challenge!

Very early in my career, I realised that the team game is the only game. In fact, what I’m most proud of in my career today is building the team I have now have around me at CGI. What we accomplish together is incredibly rewarding, and it’s changed me as a person, for the better. It’s the team first, always. Add in the cognitive diversity of our team members and you’ve got one of the key reasons why I love my job!

Ten of my fourteen direct leadership team are female, from a variety of backgrounds. This brings with it a huge diversity of thought, and it’s clear to me that our inclusive culture and the way we hire at CGI is the reason we’ve created such an awesome business. I’m really passionate about gender equality, and CGI is a great example of a company that has no barriers to success for anyone in the workplace.


#InspireInclusion is an apt theme for CGI

I support this by promoting diversity and amplifying voices as a leader at CGI. Being a bit more senior now, I have a large platform to do so, and I see my role as an ally to try and create a more inclusive culture and create figure heads across my business and the industry. After all, we are the 'T' in STEM.

This hasn’t been hard. It’s very organic here. When I joined nine years ago, my buddy was female, as were my three direct reports, so it was evident there were no cultural barriers or biases from day one. I’ve also seen so many female colleagues across the business do some amazing things in the organisation. It’s been pretty awesome to witness, and in some cases, be a small part in helping.

All in all, I ensure that everyone’s perspective is heard and valued. I hope that in the way I act and lead that I demonstrate truly inclusive behaviours, because that is something that is incredibly important to me.


The progress is great, but there’s more to do

Whilst there is lots more to do, I’m so pleased of the cultural shift towards inclusion in business has been so massive over the last 15 - 20 years.

Initially, diversity and inclusion were often limited to fulfilling quotas or corporate social responsibility goals, but there has been so much progress towards recognising diversity inclusion as a key driver of organisational success. Take our networks at CGI for example. We’re brilliant at creating a safe space for our CGI Partners to actively contribute to discussions on the business, both internally and externally, to build a company we can all be proud of. That's our dream after all...

I love our ‘no stupid questions’ culture (I ask a lot of questions!) and I think as an organisation, we’re pretty unique and different from the rest of the industry. Different is good, and when you combine all of the above with the autonomy and empowerment of feeling like you’re running a business, inside a big business, CGI is just a brilliant place to be.

And I’m still here at CGI all these years later because it fulfils the three main things I need in a job to get the best out of me:

  1. I work with amazing people
  2. I do something that makes a difference
  3. and I get to keep learning every day.

My mum always used to say to me that ‘if everyone was the same, the world would be a very boring place’. I think that sums it up perfectly.


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