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Imagine an organisation where you can bring your whole self to work

  • Posted on August 1, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
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As Ally week wrapped up in the Avanade Australia business, I am sure some people still said there are reasons why an organisation is not responsible for inclusion in the workplace, never mind for our LGBT team members. After all, doesn’t a business exist to sustain its shareholders and make a profit? So where exactly does a social conscience come into it?

You’ve met the surly barista who makes you think twice about where you buy your coffee as you head to the first meeting of the day. Or the terse flight attendant who doesn’t seem happy doing their job as your meal is dropped on your tray on the evening flights.  So, if the raison d’ être of a business is to have satisfied customers, then having happy, motivated employees is a good place to start. And what better place to start than having a diverse workforce that is inclusive of all of us?

The Pyramid of Hate teaches us that it’s the small biases that niggle at an individual’s psyche and unhappiness; and that left unchecked snowball into outward forms of prejudice and discrimination.     

At Avanade, our focus is putting people at the centre of everything – clients and employees.  We are always looking to improve  how we approach Diversity and Inclusion; typified by this blog from our CEO Adam Warby. Our dedicated LGBTI+ team has been both tenacious and creative in building awareness and educating our extended ecosystem through communications, partnerships and campaigns.

Significant activities this year have included:

  • Our first ever Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) submission. Outcome? We had a good report card but we still have more work to do!
  • The redrafting and expansion of many of our workplace policies to make them more inclusive
  • Celebration and involvement in many of the Pride events that have recently taken place
  • And, On 28 June we celebrated LGBT Ally Week, and shared the challenges of being LGBT and how to be an ally to LGBT colleagues

These initiatives have been warmly welcomed and attended over the course of the year and have resulted in a demonstrable shift in culture that empathises with LGBT issues and challenges. We know that while we have done much in a short space of time, our journey continues such that we will:

(a) have an ongoing process of engagement, learning and improvement; and (b) recognise that our LGBT+ Ally week is not just for show, it is a commitment to support our colleagues in times of challenge as well as in the celebration and appreciation of each other’s differences and similarities. 

Avanade is known for doing the heavy lifting with our clients as they undertake their digital and technology journeys. To be great, we need the best of the best and to this end we will not shy away from making Avanade a place where everyone can bring their “whole self” to work.

If you would like further information about Avanade’s Diversity and Inclusion endeavours then please visit our Diversity and Inclusion blog page, and we’d also love to hear from you all as to how you think Avanade could improve or add to our D&I initiatives.

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