20 years as a woman in tech: A conversation with Corine Vives
- Posted on April 6, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Corine Vives, Avanade’s Global Retail Industry Lead, recently participated in a panel in the Female Quotient Lounge at the annual NRF Big Show. Corine shared her insights on the talk here, but we also wanted to interview her for Inside Avanade to explore her experience in 20 years at Avanade as a woman in tech.
Avanade News: You’ve been with Avanade for about 20 years. How has the company changed over that time?
Corine: I sometimes feel like I just started at Avanade yesterday! But then I remember all that we’ve done as a company. It’s been 20 years of innovating every day, trying to be better, leading in the marketplace, helping organizations survive and flourish, promoting change both internally and externally – it’s a lot. I have always been and continue to be impressed at how Avanade is able to adapt itself to the needs of our customers, anticipating and preparing them for the future without ever losing a clear dedication to our own Avanade people. Let’s never lose that!
Avanade News: More specifically, from an Inclusion & Diversity perspective, how has the company changed?
Corine: I have always been very committed to the inclusion of women in technology. When I started my professional career, I remember being the only woman around the table in meetings, but I never felt that my voice wasn’t being heard in those meetings. On the contrary, I felt my perspective as a woman was seen as an added value to discussions. As soon as I could, I started participating in roundtables, events and presentations that gave maximum visibility to the idea that talent and diversity go hand in hand in improving organizations. During my time as Avanade’s General Manager for Iberia, 50% of the steering committee were women, and I intend to follow the same pattern in my new role. When asked by young woman for career advice, I recommend that they know what the real values of a company are around diversity before they accept a job with them.
Avanade News: When you started at Avanade, did you think you would stay for twenty years?
Corine: In the year 2000, I was on maternity leave after the birth of my second child (my only daughter). I remember reading the newspaper and seeing an announcement about a joint venture between Andersen Consulting and Microsoft. I felt like this is what I’d been searching for professionally. I contacted Avanade and I started in October 2000, right when the Spanish subsidiary was launched. I didn’t really think about how long I would stay at Avanade. I just knew that I wanted to be there at the beginning!
Avanade News: What are the things that have kept you here?
Corine: Three things come to mind: The people at Avanade – they are impressively easy to work with and always open to fresh, new ideas. Secondly, the capacity to reinvent oneself – this is an organization that embraces reinvention. And finally, the sense that what I’m doing has real impact.
Avanade News: You have a new role at Avanade as Global Retail Industry Lead. How is this role different from your previous roles at Avanade?
Corine: Over my 20 years, I have advanced through a number of increasingly important positions. For the last five years, I was the General Manager of Iberia (Spain and Portugal). I see this background and heritage as key in my new role. It will help me to define Avanade’s strategy, thought leadership and perspective for the retail industry, as well as define our market and solution approaches to address the sector’s unique challenges. My background will also help me create and solidify Avanade’s growth agenda for retail globally, aligned with our parent companies, Accenture and Microsoft, and extend our current ecosystem of innovative companies, start-ups and solutions.