Mentoring young female talent in the Female High Potential Program

  • Posted on July 18, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

At Avanade, we celebrate diversity, and we celebrate everyone who is determined to improve their abilities and to lead more confidently. Everyone, regardless of background, is a crucial part in what makes Avanade as a workplace so special, and we promote diversity in the workforce and programs to foster this.

That is why our Austria, Switzerland and Germany (ASG) region’s Female High Potential Program is an integral part of our leadership strategy and aligns directly with Avanade’s diversity strategy. Women in leading roles and in the world of IT are not necessarily common yet – and we strive to change that, by preparing them better and by offering them a unique opportunity to work with esteemed leadership experts and senior leaders so that their leadership presence is strengthened. As part of the program’s goal to enhance the leadership skills among our female workforce, we strive to improve their networking skills and enhance their business and communication skills; because all these skills are necessary to make one’s presence known in the business world and can have a direct impact on oneself, on one’s client, the team and the organization.

So, what is the Female High Potential Program?

This program is designed to encourage women to be more present and confident in themselves to lead. Various topics were addressed during the program, which are supposed to help all the ladies participating to grow and develop as a professional in the business world. We brought together a group of females working at the senior analyst and consultant levels, selected based on a consistently strong performance record and outstanding potential.

One needs to be able to grow and develop their character in order to confidently lead – therefore, the participants were encouraged to work on their inner and outer critic and learn to silence it (because misplaced criticism is an unnecessary downer!). Additionally, important skills like a growth mindset, giving and receiving feedback and discovering one’s personal brand were all discussed through interactive elements like roleplays, presentations, questionnaires and more, giving the participants room to grow and to get to know themselves and their brand better. There was a heavy emphasis placed on giving everyone an opportunity to share their personal experiences – trainers and participants alike. Moreover, male sponsors from ASG leadership also showed their support by participating and sharing their own stories in the sessions. Honesty, support and positive vibes should contribute to a good working environment, so the ladies and the trainers were encouraged to reveal the good and the bad, and everyone was there to offer support, give advice or to just lend an ear. This honesty and support among those participating in the room created an intense yet trusting atmosphere within a group of people who had not known each other well or at all before the program.

Will there be another Female High Potential Program?

Of course there will be another one! Due to the incredible feedback and the success of the program, we plan on celebrating another round of female power and leadership skills at Avanade. Furthermore, because support and community are such a strong aspect of working at Avanade, we’re developing a community where past participants can support each other, give advice, share their experiences on a variation of topics that were already addressed during the program and offer support when it comes to overcoming or dealing with any issues. Most importantly, we hope that they have found a new group of friends within the company who will always support each other.

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