I have to admit, the hybrid work model we have adopted at CGI as a result of the pandemic has been really good for me.
Instead of getting dressed for work and climbing into my car for the drive into the office, I spend some time working out and doing my own thing—whatever that might be on a given day—along with time to do things that matter most to me, quality time with my kids and walking my son to school. Being able to take time for my well-being helps me gear up for my day.
From a member standpoint, the hybrid model really aligns with our culture. I’ve been with CGI for over 17 years and there has always been a lot of flexibility. The approach from the programs I’ve worked on and from my leadership has been results-oriented. We’re focused on outcomes, so as long as we're able to engage where we're needed, and attend our meetings and our workshops, which hours we actually work and where we work from can be flexible. Being hybrid means we don’t have to balance work and life, we can integrate them.
Our mission and values
I joined CGI in 2004, after friends referred me. Currently, I serve as a program director, supporting a government client in the healthcare services field. When you support important public service work, it’s hard not to become as mission-focused as your client. Even though we're focused on websites, and the technology aspect of the websites, it’s always top of mind that our work enables people to access the healthcare plans they need. I don’t just think of myself as a CGI employee doing a job for a government customer—I’m helping senior citizens and Americans with disabilities get access to the health care they’re entitled to.
I found CGI appealing because it was a larger organization with a history of stability. I was coming from a small company with a small-company culture, and I was also looking for a bigger organization with better processes and systems in place that will help my career grow. The company’s core values also appealed to me, then and now. Those values align to who I am as a person and a professional and set expectations about how I interact with others, and they with me. The values set the foundation of the culture at CGI, which I love.
The value that stands out most to me is respect. There really is mutual respect here between our members. It doesn't matter if you're new. It doesn't matter what your title is. As members, we all respect each other, and that's really one core value that I find myself highlighting to my teams and colleagues regularly.
Unlike some companies, CGI lives up to its values. Our leaders empower our members to be successful and our members look out for each other. There’s a culture of pushing each other to get better and supporting each other’s learning and growth. I always feel a sense of belonging at CGI because of that.
How my heritage shapes my work experience
I am Filipino-American and came to the U.S. when I was in fourth grade. Being Filipino has helped shape my personality and my career choices. Filipinos have a culture of helping others and being very service-oriented, so my heritage has influenced many aspects of my career. I strive to be a mentor for others as they navigate their own careers.
I like to help people grow in their careers and try to make myself available and accessible to my team and colleagues. My aim as a leader is to help others grow and become a better version of themselves. I think that comes from my Filipino heritage.
Filipinos are also a very diverse group, because historically our culture is heavily influenced by mix of others such as China, Spain and America. There’s actually a Filipino dessert drink called “halo-halo”, which translates to “mix-mix,” and that’s really what Filipinos are – a culture shaped by a mix of different types of people over hundreds of years.
When you're building great teams, you’re building a culture, and diversity is an important part of successful teams. My team is pretty diverse, which I believe drives our innovation as a group and our ability to best deliver to our clients. It’s the perfect “halo-halo.”
Read more CGI member stories in the Life at CGI blog series.