Homecoming: Carla Ramchand boomerangs from IBM to serve as a role model to other women
- Posted on September 4, 2019
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For every professional move she makes, Carla Ramchand asks herself one important question: “How will this help me grow?”
In 2017, she was serving as Chief Operating Officer at Avanade Australia when she received a clear chance for development.
“I left Avanade to be the executive general manager of cybersecurity at IBM Australia and New Zealand,” Carla said. “It was quite a unique opportunity to set up a new division within IBM and to lead a large sales and delivery team across consulting, software and managed services. Every role I undertake, I consider what I can learn, what experience I can gain to broaden my skillset and ultimately make me a better leader.”
Working in cybersecurity in particular, Carla said she realized that viewing security as an inhibitor vs enabler of digital transformation can slow an organization’s progress. Her experience gave her a better understanding of client concerns to help them overcome such obstacles.
That new perspective serves her well now in her second role at Avanade as the Executive for Modern Workplace in Growth Markets where she leads a team of passionate digital professionals who help companies change their workplace experience through technology, culture and more, so employees are empowered to do greater things. “Organizations are increasingly recognizing that a more balanced investment in client and employee experience is needed to stay competitive,” she said. “Our clients are looking to us to help drive this innovation inside out, but also be mindful of the complexity and impact of the decisions they’re making. Cybersecurity is one of those considerations for our clients and a unique perspective that I now understand more fully when supporting our clients in their digital transformation journey.”
When asked how the door back to Avanade opened, Carla said it never really closed. She stayed in touch with mentors and colleagues-turned-friends at Avanade. When the right role opened up, it was an easy decision to come home just two years after she left. She was excited by the chance to work with different regions and cultures that span from Asia Pacific to Latin America, and by the strategy around Accenture Microsoft Business Group that validated what Avanade had been doing within the market for years.
“I wanted to be part of that next phase of growth,” she explained. “For me, the strategy around the Accenture Microsoft Business Group is really clear. I think the investment in AMBG ratifies the unique growth opportunity that the power of three represents for our clients. I also think Avanade’s purpose is really clear and that is to continue to make an impact for our clients and the broader communities, and that’s what gets me out of bed every day.”
Alongside her opportunities for growth, Carla cited – as many do – the people as a huge component of why she returned to Avanade. Within her love for Avanade’s culture and people, she saw a possibility to be a part of something larger than herself.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some exemplary female mentors in Avanade,” she said. “For me, it’s definitely a place where as a woman in tech, you know you have the support system to build a fulfilling career. I also think it’s where action speaks louder than words, clearly from the number of female leaders we are surrounded by. For example, in Avanade, we have a female president leading Growth Markets and now have a female CEO. Similarly, we have a female global lead for AMBG and Accenture just announced a female CEO, so having strong role models like that speaks volumes, and I hope to inspire others in some way through my role.”