Meet Avanade’s Inclusion & Diversity team

  • Posted on October 21, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Meet Avanade’s Inclusion & Diversity team

Though a focus on Inclusion & Diversity has been a part of Avanade’s culture since its founding, there is no denying that the events of 2020 – a global pandemic that highlighted worldwide inequities and global protests and unrest – made us more intentional. It was time to invest more deeply in our I&D strategy.

A huge part of this has been growing our I&D team, which was once comprised of just three people. Hallam Sargeant joined Avanade as our first Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer to build the team and accelerate our I&D vision in November 2020. Now, a year later, the team is over twice its original size and working passionately every day to make an impact at Avanade. Get to know everyone below – and get a better idea of how they can help you make a difference in your teams and communities.

Deepa Arjan (she/her)

My diverse perspective: British Asian, mother, first-generation graduate

Location: London – U.K.

Role: Global Leadership Development

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I am passionate about using my privilege (yes, we all have some privilege, even just by being here at Avanade!) to help change the way people view inclusion. It can seem daunting to go on this journey and that leads to inaction. In fact, changing or creating small daily habits can make a difference…

Come to me to… Discuss I&D learning opportunities


Carrie Alexander (she/her)

Location: New York City – U.S.

Role: Global I&D Project Manager

My diverse perspective: Black, woman, athlete, engineer, American

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I am passionate about curating educational experiences that examine the intersections connecting people from various backgrounds. As a former Avanade EN leader, I have been able to use those educational experiences to build bridges and new lines of communication between different communities across Avanade globally. Through those educational experiences, ignorance, stereotypes, and biases are often dismantled. It’s something I am excited to continue bringing to Avanade in my role within I&D.

Come to me for… Successful planning, management and production of creative and engaging initiatives and events; good conversation about intersectionality.


Manuela Sforza (she/her)

Location: London – U.K.

Role: Europe I&D Lead

My diverse perspective: Multicultural awareness, first-generation university student, disability in my family, widowed and became a single parent age 35, grief and mental health

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I was an inclusionist and bias buster before I knew it; even in my teenage years I had zero tolerance toward any type of discrimination. But I wanted to do more, and I decided to make it my profession (as well as my vocation) to amplify impact. I long to live in an equitable society where jobs like mine won’t be needed one day, but in the meantime, my mission is to do all I can to influence systemic and sustainable change so that everyone, irrespective of characteristics and background, can have access to the same opportunities and feel heard, valued, respected and empowered to thrive. Every time someone tells me what I am doing is making a difference to them, it motivates me to do more.

Come to me for… Elevating voices of underrepresented groups; inclusion and belonging best practices; disability and mental health advocacy and allyship.


Colleen Burke (she/her)

Location: Seattle – U.S.

Role: North America I&D Lead

My diverse perspective: Yonsei Japanese American (great-grand child of Japanese immigrants), working mom of four

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I know the feeling of being isolated and excluded, so I want to have a positive impact so that every person feels a sense of inclusion and belonging. I am passionate about creating a culture where all difference is valued, all voices are heard, and everyone feels empowered to bring their best and true selves to Avanade and thrive. We can all make a difference by listening with empathy to the stories of others and intentionally including all.

Come to me for… anything related to I&D in North America- questions, ideas, concerns, allyship, or coaching.


Mina Rabideaux (she/her)

Location: Chicago – U.S.

Role: Global Employee Network Program Lead
My diverse perspective: Native, Latina, first-generation graduate and professional

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I am passionate about helping create a culture where our differences are celebrated, valued, and respected. As a prior Avanade EN founder, I learned first-hand how employee networks can elevate the employee experience. It’s incredibly rewarding to help grassroots leaders across Avanade make an impact through their EN communities.

Come to me for… Employee network best practices; operationalizing big ideas. 


Annabel Nichols (she/her)

Location: Cambridge – U.K.

Role: Global Talent Acquisition I&D Lead

My diverse perspective: British, part-time working mother of three with three neuro-diverse nephews, level 2 counselling

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: Because as well as improving financial performance and driving market growth, diverse and inclusive environments are critical for innovation and creativity and fundamental to attracting and retaining talent that will significantly add to Avanade’s culture and success.

Come to me for… anything recruiting related!


Lauren Chval (she/her)

Location: Chicago – U.S.

Role: Global I&D Comms Lead

My diverse perspective: Woman, working mom

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: Shining my communications and storytelling experience through the lens of I&D has given me a stronger sense of meaning in my work. By helping to elevate the stories and needs of people who often go unheard, I feel like I have developed a true purpose at Avanade.

Come to me for… Help in telling your story or getting your message across.


Hallam Sargeant (he/him)

Location: Cincinnati – U.S

Role: Chief I&D Officer

My diverse perspective: Black, island guy, immigrant

Why I’m passionate about Inclusion & Diversity: I love the idea that none of our paths or journeys are the same, and the opportunity to listen and learn from the lived experiences of others motivates me. Ensuring that we elevate and amplify our Employee Value Proposition so that all Avanade employees can meet their career aspirations keeps me serving each of you every day.

Come to me for… Listening ears or a sounding board.

Samantha Francis

Great read and perspectives. Keep up the wonderful work you are all doing. 

November 1, 2021

Juliette Jandel

I salute you all!  A model I&D team!

October 27, 2021

Jay Liebowitz

This is agreat team with a lot of talent yet we only have 1 male member in the group - where is the gender  diversity?

October 26, 2021

Hallam Sargeant

Hi Jay. I hope you're doing well, it's been a while. We recognize that the gender diversity on our team could be improved and have been exhaustive in our searches to ensure we select the right candidates. Traditionally, the HR space has been a feeder for I&D roles (inside and outside of Avanade) and we have a disproportionate number of women who apply for our roles. In looking at the brief bios of our team you'll notice that there is intersectionality across various dimensions of diversity, so while we have a largely female team, their lived experiences are vastly different. If you can, please share any candidates that might be a good fit for us to connect with going forward.

October 27, 2021

Sue Holly-Rodway

Love this diverse, caring and talented team - already miss working with you but will always support the mission and be a virtual team member!

October 26, 2021

Timur Bulutcu

The Leaders and Inclusion &; Diversity team is making a dream come to true in Avanade. Amazing! 

October 25, 2021

Jacalyn Liuzzo-Malles

This is an amazing team.  The perspectives, collaboration and mutual respect displayed are great examples of what happens when good people gather for a common goal.  

October 24, 2021

Julie Madayag

What a great group! #AvanadeProud

October 22, 2021

Betty Martinez

I loved reading the diverse perspective section of each one of these profiles. An all star team.

October 21, 2021

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