Lights and Technology
NOESIS IN THE MEDIA
02 December 2020

The great measure that organizations can adopt is to make it more flexible, in RHmagazine


Teresa Lopes Gândara, Human Capital Director at Noesis, gave an interview to RHmagazine where she presented Noesis' strategic vision for human resources management

By Teresa Lopes Gândara, Human Capital Director at Noesis 

 Noesis, an international technology consultant that offers IT services, has as one of its objectives to stimulate the entry of women in the technological sector. In this company, already 30% of the talents are women, and 14 women assume leadership positions.

Within the scope of the “women in tech” theme, Noesis participates in several initiatives, as well as encouraging team mobility, so that its employees can perform the functions they like most. In order to understand how this is done, and how Noesis is working to achieve its goal, RHmagazine went to talk to Teresa Lopes Gândara, Human Capital Director of Noesis, who has almost 30 years of experience in strategy and development of human resources in multinationals in the technological sector. Teresa Lopes Gândara has been with Noesis for over 11 years.
 
The average number of women who enter positions in the technological sector is still low in Portugal. One of its objectives is to encourage women to enter this sector. How is this goal being achieved?
 
What is Noesis doing in this regard? Currently, about 30% of Noesis' headcount are women, a percentage that we know to be above average in Portugal and in our sector. The company's attractiveness to this segment is closely related to the conditions that are made available to all our talents: management by objectives, a balance between professional and personal life, the benefits attributed, such as, for example, excellent coverage that we have in our health insurance for births and the family incentive that we assign.

Not being conditions specifically targeted at women, we know that they are a decisive factor when choosing to join an organization.


What is failing to stop seeing more women in this sector?

It is a cultural issue that recent generations have been fighting. We already see many young women in universities and polytechnic institutes taking courses that, a few years ago, were exclusively attended by male students. In the technological area, there is no distinction between male or female roles.

The limitations are mainly on a social and cultural level, women/mothers continue to be those who mostly stay with their children in case of assistance, for example. More than the limitations imposed by the market and companies, at least in the IT sector.

 

He has almost 30 years of experience in Strategy and Human Resource Development in multinationals in the technological sector. According to your professional experience, what can companies in the sector do, or what initiatives can they implement, to encourage the entry of women?

I started my career as a management consultant, in the area of organization and processes, and later as an ERP implementer, which allowed me to know the various aspects of a company and endowed me with an extremely valuable experience when I focused on Human Capital.

Also, the references that exist of successful cases of women in prominent positions are an incentive for the youngest and for a career in the world of technology to be attractive.

I do not say that it is easy, as women are often placed in a position where they have to choose between career and personal life. It is this culture and form of social organization that we all have to fight. Human Capital companies and policies must make a difference. My experience tells me that it is possible to reconcile the professional and family dimension. It implies increased effort, perhaps, but it is rewarding on both sides.

 
Noesis encourages team mobility so that its employees can always perform the functions they like most. How is this incentive made?

At Noesis we promote close monitoring of the responsible and team leaders, which allows us to anticipate situations of demotivation and tiredness. We have an open culture where access to coordinators and the Human Capital team is encouraged. In this way, we seek to follow the path of our talents in the company and find the best fit between what the company has to offer and what they are looking for. The main objective is to retain our best talents and provide them with career options and progression within the organization. We believe that in this way, we all win. Motivated teams are more productive teams, we have no doubt about that.

 
In general, the pandemic has intensified gender inequality in companies, and there are even initiatives and programs that fight against this inequality, and which aim to increase the number of women in management positions. In your opinion, what is causing this scenario? How can companies fight against this scenario as well?

Due to the fact that we are working from home and also because of the confinement we were forced to, many families saw their daily lives changed radically, with the overlapping of professional tasks with domestic tasks and with a mixture between these two “universes”. This situation created greater tension within the family and, eventually, some of the cultural issues mentioned above put women under greater pressure. The scenario that you have outlined, however, is not a scenario that occurred in Noesis.

The number of women in management positions has been increasing and I am sure it will continue to increase in the years to come. We have seen significant changes in the labor market, in the way of working, and in the way that new generations look at their career, their ambitions, and purposes.

If we look at our sector, and our company, the management of skills and careers is done regardless of gender, which is why we see more and more women in relevant positions.


What has it been like to manage such a large team in the current context in which we live? Since you are part of the technological sector, is teleworking already something you are used to?

Noesis currently has about 940 employees based in Portugal, the Netherlands, and Brazil. At Noesis, remote work was already a reality, namely in the provision of services to other geographies, so the adoption of telework was a change in the vast majority of cases, very simple and easy. The main change was the change of our workspaces from the offices of the company or our customers to our home, in a moment of confinement, that is, different from a “normal” teleworking regime. We started to work in the living room, in the kitchen, with the other members of our household, with children at times that are not always compatible with our obligations, but we adjusted and managed to maintain good productivity and possible proximity to the company. When possible, we gradually returned to the office, with all security measures, maintaining a mixed model of work that we believe will be the reality in the near future.

 

Originally publish (in Portuguese) in  RHmagazine

Eduardo Vilaça
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