On achieving balance

Anticipating Needs of Users Is Fulfilling
Financial Times Digital Business (11/05/08) P. 5; Twentyman, Jessica

Accenture Technology Labs senior researcher Marion Mesnage says gender balance is critical to developing the ideas that Accenture will turn into new products. At one point in her career Mesnage was the only woman on her team, but now the team is far more diverse, and about half of the team is female.

“Similar people, working together, tend to come up with similar ideas,” Mesnage says. “You need a wide range of kinds of people working on a team to really stimulate true creativity and innovation.” She says it is equality important that women be involved in shaping the information society that future generations will inhabit.

“As technology increasingly shapes every aspect of our lives and our societies, it’s important that everyone has a hand in its creation and that everyone benefits from it,” she says.

Mesnage’s work at Accenture has focused on sensors to monitor the elderly and, when necessary, call emergency services, and on investigating how intelligent sensors can be embedded into devices to monitor their energy consumption and create data on energy costs and carbon emissions.

Mesnage is convinced that IT will play a significant role in developing energy and carbon management products. She says the most fulfilling part of her job is anticipating the next wave of technology and the needs of users.