Anita Guha, Diversity Portfolio & Learning as a Service (LaaS) Leader, IBM Learning, spearheads the creating and executing on a consulting practice within the Global learning delivery organization across IBM. Providing customized learning solutions to internal clients. In this article, Anita shares with us her career journey and how she has been involved in doing work that matters.
What has been your IBM career journey?
Learning, Diversity, and Leadership Development have been the common threads in a career journey that has given me a chance to express and grow my skills, expand my horizons, engage with diverse people, and contribute to positively influence our organization’s culture.
Why does your work matter & how do you make an impact in your role?
Every time I get to listen to a genuine “Thank You,” I know that my work matters. Whether a participant comes up to speak with me at the completion of a workshop I facilitate, a mentoring conversation with a colleague, a consultation with an internal client, a recognition of a job well done by my manager, an invitation to #share expertise, the thank you’s reinforce that I am having a positive impact.
I also feel good about specific contributions that I have made to the legacy of IBM – some that come top of mind are: establishing the first People Manager Award in IBM India, leading the creation of the India Leadership Forum (ILF-100) of top India leaders, winning the first, second and third Diversity Awards for IBM India (since then, we have won so many that we have lost count!), designing modules for Aspiring, New, and Up-line Leaders, that have been deployed to tens of thousands of IBMers across the globe.
How has being at IBM helped you grow professionally and personally?
As I never tire of telling New2Blue participants on their first day at IBM, this company spells Opportunity with a capital O. I may have been in the same department (HR) for for almost 2 decades at IBM but during this time, I have had eleven different roles – each one involving new challenges and opportunities for growth. I have had a chance to learn from and to befriend a diverse group of people across the world. And along the way, I’ve grown – both professionally and personally.
Tell us about the people you work with and the environment you work in?
I was the first work-from-home employee at IBM India – way back in 2000 – so my work environment has been a virtual one that has been progressively enhanced with technology. From a disembodied voice on a crackly phone to having 100+ people from all over the world peering right into my living room via Zoom, it’s been quite a ride! As we now move toward creating face to face work hubs across the enterprise, I feel excited to embrace this change and with it, an opportunity to apply agile and design thinking practices that enhance both employee engagement and innovative results.
What would be your one piece of career advice?
Be open to the unexpected opportunity and grab it with both hands! I can’t say I’ve practiced that in my career but the times, they are changing. Besides, that should not stop me from doling out good advice, right?!
Complete the sentence ‘I work where …..
I work where together, we make the world a better place!
Describe what is working at IBM like?
One of the many pluses of working for a brand like IBM is that you are constantly surrounded by very smart people who want to make a difference. That intelligence and that passion are infectious! It’s also wonderful to be part of a company that has an amazing legacy of innovation in action that has truly changed our world. Our company’s innovation has been built on a bedrock of diversity of thought and inclusive work practices, an area in which IBM has been a recognized role model. Did you know, for example, that we had our first woman Vice President at IBM way back in the 1940s! We take for granted a lot of amazing Opportunities for #WomenAtIBM – that employees in other companies must continue to fight for.
IBM takes great pride in harnessing a Diverse & Inclusive work culture. It is not what we do but who we are. Follow more stories on #WomenAtIBM
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