Authenticity is a buzzword that is easy to say and write. It is much more challenging to walk the walk when it comes to upholding a commitment to authenticity and delivering on it. At CGI, we’re committed to walking the walk. We’ve found things just work better when our members and clients operate on the basis of real to deliver purposeful solutions.

Authenticity and purpose propel Steve Emanuel

At the intersection of authenticity and purpose is where you’ll find Steve Emanuel, Director of Consulting Services at CGI. Steve’s career was built on 20+ years working for the government as a Public Sector Chief Information Officer, and he now serves the government in his role at CGI. He supports and advises those who sit in the same CIO seat he once occupied.

Steve Emanuel with his family on a beach
Steve Emanuel with his family

Steve assures former colleagues he’s in touch with his CIO roots by affirming, “I haven’t changed my spots.” In fact, that CIO experience is what allows him to problem solve and remove barriers for clients through the lens of what it’s like to be on the other side.

When asked what he likes most about serving his clients, Steve’s analogy says it all, “It is the most gratifying experience when all the lights on the appliances turn green because that means everything's working. [It’s] seeing that green in their eyes and knowing that they're getting value.” “I want my clients to know that my team is there as a solution provider. We’re not coming in as just another vendor. It really is about partnership and delivering capabilities and services that they may not be able to bring to the table on their own.”

You're never too old to learn something new: Horace Blackman

As someone who has dedicated much of his career to transforming the lives of veterans and their families, it comes as no surprise that Horace Blackman is driven by his ability to serve the greater good, and, in his words, “be part of something bigger than myself.” As a Senior Vice-President leading our Defense, Intelligence and Space business unit, Horace can certainly say he’s involved in something big. He helps provide mission-critical technology systems and services and shapes his business unit’s strategic development to deliver impactful change through technology solutions.

We asked Horace what makes CGI different from our competitors.

“It’s really the distinction between an employee versus a member, a customer versus a client and the distinction between providing value versus providing service. That’s the difference that brings CGI to the market, that’s the difference that CGI brings to our clients and that’s what makes CGI an attractive place to be.”

Like any great leader, Horace’s approach to thought leadership is one of continuous learning.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of college or if you’ve been doing this for decades; we all come to the table with something to add.”

Alisha James: Driving training for the underserved

In a world where just about anything is a click away, it is humbling to remember that the success of any technology is dependent on the education and resources to access and effectively use it. When asked what role technology can play in creating a more diverse and inclusive world, CGI Director and Consulting Expert of IT Asset Management Alisha James level-set the question:

“I think we have to start with those that don't have technology for that to even be a fair question. There are communities within the U.S. and throughout the world that don't have access to a simple smartphone or a computer, or the knowledge of how to use either one. So, I think we have to start with training and providing that technology to those underprivileged areas to get them caught up in the technological world. Then, the possibilities are endless.”

Alisha James and a colleague
Alisha James and Shawna Patton

Alisha is passionate about using her platform to encourage training for those who are underserved—to set them up for success, with technology as a vehicle to get them there. CGI shares this vision by working closely with Per Scholas, a company that provides tech career training for these communities with the goal of unlocking the full potential of anyone with the desire to learn. Alisha has seen firsthand where a strong worth ethic and the willingness to learn can take you.

"My mom inspires me. She raised two kids as a single mom, volunteered at church or local schools, took herself back to school while she was serving in the military 20+ years, only to become a paralegal and work for another 10+ years before retirement. She’s the epitome of what I want to be." Like her mother, Alisha has shattered the glass ceiling as a technology leader providing solutions and inspiration to pave the way for others.

Connecting with her children enriches Brittany Jackson's work

Brittany Jackson
Brittany Jackson

CGI Director Brittany Jackson reflected on how the pandemic helped her shift from a regimented daily routine with her kids to “learning a different side of them based on how I’ve had to support them differently because of the pandemic.” As a working mom, Brittany values time spent helping her kids discover what success looks like and means to them. In her work at CGI, she shares the same sentiment and works with purpose to support her colleagues and clients in achieving success.

When we asked what’s on Brittany’s playlist, she shared her love for some of the greats like Otis Redding and Al Green, music that brings her back to family holidays as a child. Her love of music has translated into encouraging creative expression for her own children.

As far as what brought Brittany to CGI, she says, “I wanted to join a company with a similar culture that was welcoming, supporting and inviting. Luckily for me, my experience with CGI has been that, even from the very start of the interviewing phase.”

We all juggle the responsibilities of life outside of work, which is why it’s so important that our work feels like time well spent rather than just taking home a paycheck. What makes time at work time well spent? Working with real purpose. Collaborating with a team to drive real solutions. Experiencing real authenticity.

Read more CGI member stories in the Life at CGI blog series.

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Life at CGI

Life at CGI is a different experience for each CGI member. Some of them tell their stories in this dedicated blog.