Defining a decade of proactive change with the Black Young Professional Network

  • Posted on December 21, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Earlier this year, Avanade’s Talent Acquisition Team announced a proud partnership with the BYP (Black Young Professional) Network, founded in 2016 to harness the power of the Black community. With a network of 50,000 members across North America, Europe and Africa and a focus on working with existing Black networks and businesses, this organization empowers Black professionals around the world to connect with each other and global corporations. BYP matches the best career opportunities to Black professionals, improving Black role model visibility and working with corporations to reduce bias in their hiring process.

2019 saw huge growth at BYP Network with 550,000 monthly online impressions, 50,000 total network and 140,000 BYP app interactions. Their growing impact aligns perfectly with Avanade’s ever growing prioritization of diverse teams; this is a partnership which Avanade will continue to invest in.

As Avanade forged this relationship, our Female Ambassador Network and Talent Acquisition Teams from the U.K., Netherlands and Germany attended BYP’s flagship event – their Leadership Conference, “A Decade of Proactive Change.”

Avanade’s event stand saw women from the business across levels and regions relaying experience and insights into what Avanade means to them as a diverse employer.

The buzz of attendees, both on the Avanade and BYP side, was tangible throughout the day. Conversations took place with over 130 attendees, many developing into more formal networking and career opportunity conversations across the business.

The day closed with a finale of an Avanade-hosted a seminar with five amazing panellists about their “Careers Journeys through Time and Place.”

Richa Ranawat, UKI TA & EU Diversity Lead, kicked off conversation byexplaining what she felt it was companies such as ours should do to ensure the Black Lives Matter movement becomes a core part of their ethos, rather than simple “tokenism.”

We then hopped across the Atlantic to Dikasse Zalla, a former Avanade STEM Scholar who is now working in Business Tech & Integration. We learned more about her experiences, as well as her hopes for Avanade’s Black Employee Network for the next 10 years!

Next up was Sangeeta Dewan, Account Director for Energy & Utilities. It was fascinating to hear about her being the first woman in the Avanade £5 million club. Then ERP Director & Offering Lead Tania Ezzeddine offered tips around integrating a senior technical role into her identity as an “evangelist” on the importance of gender equality and equal opportunities for everyone to thrive.

Our panel finished with special appearance from Diane Lees: Program Director and Mentor from fantastic organization, the Global Give Back Circle, which  provides scholarships to at-risk girls in Kenya, India, China, South Africa and Rwanda, for high school, vocational training and college

Diane shared beliefs of how every girl who gains an education is elevating themselves and giving back with a ripple effect. As she put it, education enables changing the mindset and trajectory of not only her life, but that of her family and community. We learned what large-scale organizations can do to support charities like Global Give Back Circle, and Diane concluded by highlighting the importance of mentors. Role models are fundamental for authentic diversity and inclusion to be achieved she said; whilst mentees learn to give back, they can also gain a broader perspective on the world and envision what is possible.

Each of these five fantastic women closed by defining what a decade of proactive change meant to them, sending Avanade’s 82 attendees away armed with words of wisdom and insights to support their career journeys, goals and aspirations, regardless of current time or place.

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