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A balancing act

Tarika’s story

Tarika is now a senior manager in Consulting, after being promoted in the first few months of her maternity leave. She’s now more determined than ever to be a positive role model for other women. We speak to her about her future ambitions and her passion for technology.



Women in tech

Tarika has been interested in technology for as long as she can remember. Now that she’s a mother, she’s even more determined to succeed in her career, and carve out the path for other women. “I’ve always been ambitious, but since having my daughter last year, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the strength of women. So many of us have been through a lot, both physically and emotionally, especially when having a baby,” she explains. “I joke that my little girl is the most demanding client I have ever had – it is both rewarding and incredibly hard work. It’s so important to me that I provide my daughter with a positive role model and show her just how successful the future generations of women can be.” As a senior manager in Digital Banking for Consulting, she’s aware that women’s success stories have perhaps been celebrated less than men’s achievements in the world of tech. “Traditionally it’s been seen as a male-dominated field which women are traditionally less likely to be encouraged to pursue but I’m delighted that’s changing now,” she says. “It’s inspiring to see brilliant women thrive in all aspects of technology – from development to design to management – and it’s important, more now than ever, that we continue to encourage more women in the field.” Tarika’s interest in technology is primarily inspired by human connections. “I love how technology enriches our human experiences,” she says. “For example, when virtual reality first came out, I was so excited to understand how it worked and how we could apply it in our day-to-day life. For me it’s not all about the technical aspects, but the ways that technology can make our lives better and bring people together.”




Tarika was promoted to her current role while on maternity leave, and is currently having a phased return to work. “There is a perception that you’re more likely to lose work or be overlooked while on maternity leave, but that’s not the case here,” she says. “I was supported and encouraged throughout my pregnancy to pursue my ambitions, and four months after my daughter was born, I was invited to be interviewed for the senior manager role. It was encouraging to see other parents in Consulting also have similar promotion experiences.” She also appreciated the one-on-one coaching provided to parents before, during and after parental leave to ensure people thrive as they transition back into work. “I’m running two equally-demanding parallel careers – one at home, the other at work – and while it is far from easy, Deloitte has provided some great resources that help set me up for success.” Flexible hours are available for all employees, no matter what their circumstances, and it’s something that Tarika really values. Even before she went on maternity leave, she saw that colleagues were able to work part-time, and she loves how much the firm supports people to build careers that work for them. “People tend to worry that Consulting will be too demanding for flexible working. However, in my experience, Deloitte is very respectful of people’s working hours and boundaries though, and we only take on projects that we can comfortably accommodate within those hours.” While many companies talk about these values, she says her team has always truly “lived them” and has never made people feel guilty for doing what’s best for their family or health. “If you can’t be available on certain days or you work certain hours, the expectation is that the team works around your needs.”



Diversity and Inclusion

As well as the inclusivity surrounding flexible working, Tarika appreciates the wide range of diversity networks open to its people. Deloitte currently has 13 diversity Networks. “I was born in India and lived there until I was nine before moving to Canada and studying there,” she says. “I eventually came to London in 2015 to launch my consultancy career, and it’s great to work with such a diverse group of people. I’m hoping to join some of the diversity networks when I return.” She joined Deloitte in 2018, and since then her career has soared. Working in consultancy means she’s able to have the freedom to work on a broad range of projects with colleagues from different parts of the business, which provides the rich variety she’s looking for in the workplace. “It’s fantastic to be able to bring such a wealth of expertise across the firm to solve a client problem. While I enjoy collaborating with different experts and perspectives, it also means I feel valued bringing my voice and opinions to the table. Deloitte really does offer people ample opportunity to pursue their interests and careers. For example, if you have a particular interest in a specific job or area, the team will try and move you into different areas or roles when you vocalise your interests.” Tarika says she was attracted to the firm for the wide range of learning and development options, as well as the people she met. “I love working with such a brilliant group of people – I am inspired, motivated and encouraged to bring my best to work, and I’m challenged to stretch and grow with each project. I feel like people in Deloitte care – they are invested in you and are keen to see you progress. Caring about each other is one of the firm’s core values.”



Mentoring others

While technology is one of her biggest passions, Tarika is also a qualified life coach and has used her skills to mentor others at Deloitte. She enjoys seeing her colleagues grow and develop with the right support, meeting the goals they’ve set for themselves. “I studied psychology, so this has been a natural progression for me,” she says. “Development and coaching are really woven into our DNA at Deloitte and I’m looking forward to coaching women directly.” During bi-weekly mentoring sessions she helps colleagues to solve any challenges they might be having, get ready for promotion and ensure they’re working on projects that feel right for them. “It makes me really proud when you see someone blossoming in their personality and being recognised for their unique skills and perspectives.”



The future

As far as the future goes, Tarika is enjoying settling back into Deloitte life. She will be working part-time, before getting established in her new full-time role as a senior manager. “Having a baby has definitely made me more ambitious for the future and I’m grateful I’ve had Deloitte to support me. While I’m excited to return to work, I’m most looking forward to carving out the path for other brilliant women to flourish!”



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