Avanade learnings shared at Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR)

  • Posted on July 20, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Back in May, Avanade employees visited the Houses of Parliament for the fourth annual Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) rally to champion better diversity in the technology sector. For a number of years now, the tech sector in the U.K. has been a leader in championing diversity and inclusion, but it still has a long way to go until we see equal representation in the industry. At Avanade, we are passionate about tackling the socio-economic digital divide and equipping young people, minority groups, and entrepreneurs with adequate digital skills to compete in the online world.

Attendees included Sarah Rench, Global Data and AI Director at Avanade, European LGBT+ Sponsor & DEI Champion and board member of DevelopHer, and Dora Grzetic, UKI Engagement & Inclusion Lead, Business HR at Avanade. During our time at PICTFOR, we presented four recommendations and learnings at Avanade as ‘calls to actions’ to the government on how to help tackle the socio-economic digital divide and get more diverse talent into AI and Technology.

1. Providing paid opportunities for women and those from minority backgrounds to get training and jobs in tech

Avanade has invested in creative talent programs such as Reignite in the U.K. and Techionista across Europe, which give women an opportunity to get back into tech after taking a break from their careers for parental and elder-care reasons, by having direct, paid access to upskilling boot camps that help them re-start their career where they left.

2. Flexible / Hybrid work and study models from home and office

Similarly, we have been leveraging hybrid working models to tackle social mobility throughout apprentice tech programs and increasing hiring in Manchester and Newcastle areas to empower people to have a career in tech no matter where they are.

3. Scholarships, workshops, and reciprocal mentoring for young women and minority groups

Avanade has been funding scholarships, workshops, and mentoring for young women studying STEM at UCL for over seven years, building leadership boot camps and reciprocal mentoring for young people from ethnic minorities to become leaders of the future with Aleto Foundation, collaborating with Young Enterprise to teach young people how to use Teams, present with impact, and run digital workshops across the country. Avanade is also working closely with Upreach to support students from disadvantaged and low socioeconomic backgrounds in the workplace.

4. Ensure corporate citizenship is a priority for leaders and employees across the company

Avanade gives unlimited paid volunteer time to employees to give back through a variety of corporate opportunities and local volunteering. With many initiatives in place, we are particularly proud of donating refurbished laptops to schools and students through Computer Aid which provides free access to online learning, including access to Microsoft Learn for free and study courses.

As a global employer, Avanade has a duty to support young people, minority groups, and entrepreneurs to learn and gain adequate digital skills to compete in the online world. By understanding our clients' and employees' intersectional backgrounds and needs, we can empower them using our people and technology to make positive changes in society. We’ve put in place commitments for our leadership to work closely with HR, I&D teams, and employees by utilizing I&D commitment frameworks and training and investing in our 14 employee networks to ensure diversity is celebrated at all levels.’  Anna Di Silverio, Executive, President – Europe

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with PICTFOR and colleagues across the industry to share our learnings and best practices and together help make a genuine human impact.

Find out more about life at Avanade and our commitment to providing a people-first environment that empowers our employees to be themselves, do their best work and accomplish amazing things.

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