Laila Worrell graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Liberal Arts degree. All of the consultingfirms were looking for people withbusiness or engineering degrees, butAccenture decided to take a risk onher, even though she had an atypicaldegree. She stayed at Accenture fornearly two decades, returning aftergetting her MBA at Harvard.
Ask her what she loves aboutconsulting and she’ll say how it inspires her since she is so missiondriven. “I enjoy inspiring people tofind the bigger purpose in what theydo. For our amazing team at AltranAmericas, that means helping ourclients make people’s lives safer,healthier and more connected,”Worrell says. “And I am lucky tolead a diverse team of innovators,designers, engineers and relation-ship-builders who are deeply committed to helping our clients excel.”After Accenture, she joinedBCG as a Partner doing work inprivate equity. “One of my private equity-owned clients, Aricent,asked me to join as COO, bringingme back to the technology servicesfield,” she says.
Altran bought Aricent in 2018
and rebranded it last year. Today
Worrell is CEO of Altran Americas
and her ability to step right into the
role is what she considers her great-
est professional achievement so far.
“I stepped into the role leading Ari-
cent, now Altran Americas, during a
very difficult time for the company,
and I’m very proud of the enormous
progress we drove in the business in
a very short time,” she says. “To get
through a challenge, you have to
build a strong, cohesive team that
is aligned on goals and believes in
them fiercely. My greatest profes-
sional achievements involve build-
ing winning teams.”
As far as a personal achieve-
ment, Worrell says that for most
people with children, there is no
greater personal accomplishment
than seeing them grow and develop
with grace, character and integrity.
Worrell says she has been fortunate enough to have worked withincredible mentors and colleaguesthroughout her career, and they haveshared so much great advice.
I think often about advice shared
with me by Mike Sutcliff, the for-
mer Group CEO of Accenture Dig-
ital. Mike said, “Assume positive
intent. Most people are trying to do
the right thing.”
Putting this advice into practice
changes the whole tone of a conver-
sation and even a company’s cul-
ture. If someone makes a mistake,
it is usually not because they want-
ed to be wrong. Coach instead of
criticize. Be constructive, she says.
It doesn’t help matters thatwoman are under-represented inscience and technology, she says.“So most women working in thefield experience the challenges thatcome with underrepresentation,”she says. “Diversity is probablymore important in technology thanalmost any other field, becausetechnology is about innovation,and innovation requires diversityof perspective.”
And when it comes to winninga Women Leaders in Technologyaward, Worrell says that it’s anhonor to be recognized, and she’sespecially honored to a part of theinaugural class of women to receivethe award. “Looking at the full roster of winners, it’s a very impressive group,” she says.
Professionally, what are you most looking forward over the next 12 months?
WORRELL: “Capgemini recently acquired a majority stake in our company. This
will be the second change of ownership for our company in two years, and I’m
looking forward to getting to know a new set of clients and colleagues.” Q & A