Creating pathways for more women leaders at Avanade
- Posted on August 11, 2014
This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Vikki Leach.
Earlier this year, we launched Avanade’s Accelerator Program for Women as a way to help our female workers progress their careers at Avanade just as quickly as men. Last month, we finished off the first phase of the program with a spectacular event in Frankfurt, where senior leaders and program participants came together to discuss ways to make Avanade a great place to work. The energy was the highest that I’ve ever seen, the talent in the room was incredible and we continue to validate the high number of talented women at Avanade. The event focused on answering many questions including:
- So why are we still facing such low percentages of women leaders in senior roles?
- What are the barriers that both men and women face in the work place?
- How do we get a more equal number of men and women in key decision making roles?
One conclusion is that we need to recognize both men and women equally. This is part of our approach to moving the needle to help attract, develop and retain women at Avanade. This helps us create a better gender balance and an inclusive working environment. We know that companies that focus on this important issue outperform others – Accenture research has proven that career capital is a competitive advantage. In addition, McKinsey published an excellent report entitled, "Women Matter" that focuses on gender diversity as a corporate performance driver. But, that’s not the only reason why we do this. Striving for equality is part of our evolving diversity and inclusion strategy, which helps to build a more skilled, differentiated and diverse global workforce.
We are dedicated to our female employees and women leaders, helping them better navigate their career path by having access to a number of opportunities, such as confidential coaching, access to mentoring, leading town hall sessions and much more. Together, we can address things such as a lack of visibility and networking, difficulties juggling work and home life, self-limiting behaviors, inflexible working practices, as well as find ways to develop more role models, sponsors and mentors for women in the workplace.
Initiatives like the Avanade Accelerator Program allow women to become more aware and address typical issues and barriers in the workplace. By continuing to drive these types of programs that empower our female workers, we can hopefully raise the percentage of women leaders in these senior roles.