The rising tide that lifts all boats

Avanade has pursued a deliberate and purpose-driven strategy around Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) since our founding in 2000. It started with our focus on a challenge that we still face: the lack of women in the technology industry. To address that, we had to go to the root of the problem, which was attracting girls and young women to STEM, offering scholarships and creating programs to foster their skills.

But Inclusion & Diversity is not limited to one group of people or one challenge. Inclusion is everyone, everything, every day. It’s the rising tide that lifts all boats. If our inclusive culture doesn’t consider all races, gender identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, disabilities, ages, religions – all people and all phases of life – it falls short.

In 2019, Pamela Maynard was named CEO of Avanade, becoming the first woman and person of color to lead the organization." She is passionate about building on the I&D foundation Avanade had already established with a comprehensive strategy that involves every person at Avanade. In 2020, Hallam Sargeant joined Avanade as our first Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer to help accelerate this vision.

“I'm passionate about inclusion and diversity and personally I don’t believe there is innovation without diversity. With diversity we challenge our thinking, we have alternative thoughts and mindsets.”

Pamela Maynard Chief Executive Officer, Avanade

I&D is part of everything we do

Our I&D framework is rooted in three strategic priorities:

  • Representation:Increasing representation across all levels of the business
  • Limitless Learning:Inspiring action and offering educational resources
  • Engagement:Creating an inclusive culture so everyone can be their authentic selves at work

At Avanade, Inclusion & Diversity is part of everything we do, from the way we treat people to how we make decisions and the solutions we take to market. Our strategic priorities are enabled by defining and driving inclusive behaviors as well as building inclusive policies and processes. We believe inclusion is a discipline that must be practiced with vigilance every day, and this belief has generated tangible results.

  • Since 2020, Avanade has grown our I&D team from three to more than 15.
  • In 2022, 40% of our hires – representing talent from across 28 countries – were women.
  • 60% of our Board of Directors are women.
  • 10 members of our C-suite are women – including our CEO, Pam Maynard.

Uplifting diverse voices with employee networks

Led by employees and sponsored by the I&D team, Avanade employee networks are organized groups that provide a forum for building community and spearheading change, allowing all Avanade employees to have an active say in how we shape a more inclusive future. Avanade currently sponsors 14 employee networks spanning gender and gender expression, nationality, religious affiliation, age, veteran groups and disability, totaling to 49 regional chapters across the globe. Their membership includes both identifying members of marginalized groups and active allies, with new members joining every day.

Active Avanade employee networks:

  • Adelante: Latinx Employee Network
  • All Generations Employee Network (two chapters)
  • Asian Employee Network
  • DiversAbility Employee Network (six chapters)
  • Indigenous and First Nations Australia
  • INSPIRE Black Employee Network (seven chapters)
  • Jewish Employee Network
  • Military Veterans Employee Network (two chapters)
  • Multicultural Employee Network (five chapters)
  • Muslim Employee Network (two chapters)
  • Parents Employee Network
  • Prism: LGBTQ+ Employee Network (eight chapters)
  • South Asian Employee Network
  • Women’s Employee Network (11 chapters)

Each employee network’s strategic plan aligns with our key areas of focus in I&D, and members have been called upon to offer input into company responses, policies and proposals.

Prioritizing well-being to drive inclusive behaviors

Well-being is a foundational component of our I&D work. Our people are our biggest asset and our number one priority. For them to be at their best and do their best at work, we need to create the conditions so that they can thrive.

That starts with empathetic, thoughtful leadership. In 2023, we launched the "Winning with Well-being and Inclusion" workshop for leaders across Avanade, helping them identify practical ways to create an inclusive, high well-being environment and feel prepared to have sensitive and personal conversations at work. We strive to create space for open discussion on important topics like burnout, disability, cancer, men’s health and menopause, creating a stigma-free environment in which people feel supported in all aspects of their lives.

Knowing flexibility is crucial for well-being, we also invite employees to utilize flexible working and build a non-traditional schedule that suits their work style and lives.

I&D training to pay it forward in our communities

We’re committed to providing educational resources that help people across the business engage thoughtfully with I&D goals. In 2022, we trained more than 7,000 interviewers on topics like inclusivity, employee experience, and situational and behavioral techniques to better accommodate a diverse range of clients and talent. We also provide regular training sessions on how to navigate some of the more sensitive, complex topics related to inclusion and diversity, encouraging our people to both share their experiences and listen with empathy.


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