Daring Women

Daring Women Q&A: Krystianne Avedian, Principal Executive at Capgemini

The top executive shares who inspires her, what challenges she's faced in the field and her career high points.

By Daria Kroupoderova July 19, 2018


Our second installment (see the first one here) of our Daring Women Q&A series features Krystianne Avedian, the principal executive at Capgemini. Her role at the company focuses on design thinking, partnerships and alliances, mindfulness, and diversity and inclusion. Read about her mentors, advice to women starting out in their careers and how can men and women improve gender equity in the workplace.

1. Tell us about the high point of your career. What do you love about your work? Describe your proudest moment.

I have had an amazing journey in the tech world. Some of my high points include collaboration with key strategic partners and alliances, working with my team and the ecosystem to build great solutions, and working with great people with every day as on our own journey toward being our best selves in the workplace.

2. What challenges have you faced as a woman in your industry? How have you addressed them?

When I first started consulting, I was young and was afraid at times I had impostor syndrome. My confidence was lacking, yet I didn’t know how to ask for help. I have been fortunate enough in my career to have leaders who believe in me so much so that they invested in me. That investment, in addition to my own investment of myself to build my brand, gain confidence and break through some of my own personal obstacles, has helped me get to where I am now.

3. Tell us about a person who has inspired or mentored you. What key lesson did you learn from them?

One of my greatest bosses was a man I was terrified of. He was a fast talker, a super-fast thinker and still I believe one of the smartest men I know. He saw something in me I didn’t know yet existed. He helped me believe in myself. He helped me learn to find my voice. I am still very close to him after many years of not working for him and am grateful to him for the person I now am.

4. What advice would you give to a woman getting started in her career?

Invest in yourself! You are 100 percent responsible for your brand. No one else is going to invest in you like you should. Take the time to learn yourself. Learn what you are good at and learn your shortcomings. That will be where your magic lies!

5. What can women do to improve gender equity in the workplace? What can men do?

Women can support other women. Unfortunately, that did not always happen in the generation prior to ours. We are now in a new time where women do support each other and that is awesome to see. Those of us of a certain age did not always have those role models. And now it is up to us to be the role models for a new generation on how to lead inclusively. Men can support women by ensuring women have a seat at the table and by uncovering any unconscious bias they might have.

6. Tell us about a favorite book/show/podcast and why/how it inspires you.

I am loving the book Radical Candor [by Kim Scott], which provides a new framework of Giving Feedback. It is a 2X2 matrix of caring deeply about your employees as well as challenging directly. I am using this within my team to encourage each of them to be their best authentic selves.

7. Where do you find support and inspiration? How important is networking and how do you expand your contacts?

I would not be where I am without three things: 1. Awesome mentors Ive had along the way and still rely on! 2. A great therapist, who started out as a career coach and now I just call her a therapist. 3. An amazing life partner/wife who always has an ear to listen to me and is willing to spend time to talk through things with me. You need your tribe/community!

8. What are the most important characteristics of a good leader? What leadership traits are overrated?

Leading authentically! Being brave to rock the boat when it needs to be rocked. Supporting and inspiring others. Not driving the bus alone; bringing others along for the ride. Learning from your failures to achieve future successes.

9. What would you do differently in your career if you had a do-over.

Easy take more risks. That is where you learn.

10. What would be the title of your autobiography?

K.A. It stands for Kindness & Authenticity!

Wed love to hear from more women across all industries who are challenging the status quo. Does it sound like you? If it does, click here and fill out our questionnaire.

Daring Women Q&A responses have been edited and condensed.

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Seattle Business magazine is always looking for submissions for its Daring Women profile. The profile showcases top-level executives in organizations throughout Washington state.

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