Meet Geeta Chakravorty
Want to know how Diversity & Inclusion is embedded in the fabric of everything we do? Hear more from our employees about their experiences.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Geeta Chakravorty and have been associated with Societe Generale for the past 14 years. I started as a Developer-Analyst and transitioned to the role of a Team manager in the RISK IT team, a role which I held for many years until I decided to explore the world of Project Management with the Data Analytics and Reporting team a few years back. Since then, I have been overseeing IT projects ranging from onboarding new financial products to system migration and decommissioning and a mix of infrastructure-led initiatives.
I come from the state of Assam in India, a place known for its natural beauty, its tea plantations, and national parks. Armed with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering, I moved to the USA 20 years ago to join my husband, who was finishing his Ph.D. in Astrophysics. I got my masters' degree in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky and eventually moved to Chicago in 2005. We have a daughter who will be turning 10 in a few days. My top hobbies are art and photography (which I share with the world on Instagram) and reading fictional thrillers.
What does bringing your whole self to work mean to you?
I bring the total package: attention to detail, willingness to learn and accept challenges, completing tasks on schedule as far as possible, collegiality, authenticity, willingness to share information with others for the greater good of all, a positive attitude and a smile, and always keep the company's best interest in mind. The HR and Employee Resource Group (ERG) events allow me to showcase my talents; the Bring Your Kids to Work program has been great for our daughter as she got to see my work environment, meet my wonderful coworkers and feel even more proud of me and what I do.
Over the course of the past few years, what changes have you seen?
The focus on giving back to society through fundraising and charity events and building a diverse team of employees. The willingness to embrace diversity and encourage people to run initiatives for both professional and personal satisfaction, thereby enabling a positive work environment where every employee can perform to the best of their ability regardless of their origin or background.
Additional changes for the better include the flexibility to occasionally work from home certain day(s) of the week and the improved benefits for new mothers. I remember 10 years ago, I had to make sure I had enough PTO so as not to go without pay for weeks while on maternity leave.
What would you like allies to know?
We all know that discrimination starts with a sense of superiority, with the thought that no one is better than "me" or "my group." Our duty as employees of Societe Generale is to speak up and promptly report any instances of prejudice or racism to the right departments using the proper channels. When all stand strong together, inappropriate behavior can be easily managed.
Today I am the co-chair of the Asian Professional Network ERG (APN), and I am also a board member of the Americas Women’s Network Chicago chapter where I focus on the Leadership and Learning topics. Being associated with APN has allowed me to promote Asian culture and bring its beauty to the rest of the SG employees. In addition to running fundraisers and charitable initiatives to give back to the local community, today's APN board is also engaged in collaborations with the ReGeneration ERG to bring leadership events to early career professionals.
Do you have an example of when an ally stepped in?
I have been in the company of people who are mindful, sensitive and accepting of diversity. So I am glad I have no example to present.