Recognizing a powerful, influential woman of courage – Mahnaz Javid
- Posted on April 21, 2014
This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Eddie Pate.
Recently, I had the privilege of seeing one of Avanade’s best and brightest female leaders – Mahnaz Javid, senior vice president of Talent Acquisition and Integration –recognized as one of Washington’s Most Powerful and Influential Women and a 2014 Women of Courage Honoree by the University of Washington Women’s Center.
Both awards honor her long-standing and exceptional work history, as well as her work with the Mona Foundation – which supports universal education and gender equality. We recently sat down with Mahnaz to learn more about what being an influential woman of courage and these awards mean to her, her foundation and the secret to her success. Read on for a look into Mahnaz’s life and career.
What do these awards mean to you?
Both recognitions are a combination of professional success, community involvement and family. And achieving a level of success in the corporate structure. My parents really were always incredible advocates of the best education you could get. They were great examples of work ethic and serving the community -- this was instilled in me as a way of life.
What was your first reaction when hearing about these awards?
Honestly I thought it was a mistake, why would they select me? I thought they would have someone else in mind. Eddie Pate nominated me and I asked him: “Eddie, are you sure?” I am very humbled and honored.
Give us some reasons for your success.
I have worked three times as hard as anyone else. And I have had wonderful mentors, coaches and those who have inspired me to reach higher.
Tell us more about the Mona Foundation.
The Mona Foundation is a non-profit organization that three friends formed 15 years ago. Its purpose is to support education initiatives that are locally founded, and focus on the status of women and girls. We currently support more than 15 projects in 10 countries, in total touching the lives of 40,000 to 50,000 people in India, South America, and South East Asia. The projects start very small and then grows organically. I’m on the board and serve as president – and I have an executive director and staff driving the business. Although Mona is my focus, I also support a lot of the relief agencies.
Why are you proud to be part of Avanade?
There are a lot of companies talking about diversity and inclusion, but, at Avanade, we walk the talk. People are at the center of our focus and we are very cognizant to identify our talent in a conscious way. By bringing diversity of all kinds to the table and being committed to hear the voices from diverse backgrounds, we bring this to our customers. Avanade is my company of choice – I believe in the leadership and the values and philosophy.
What do you continue to be passionate about in your career and life?
I am passionate about helping people to be the best they can be and to find meaning and fulfillment in serving others.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I am a poet. And, I parachuted as a very young girl and I was so skinny that I had to carry sand bags in my pockets so that the wind would not carry me off the target!
Some of the Avanade team celebrating with Mahnaz after the awards ceremony.