Update on the accelerator program for women
- Posted on February 27, 2014
This is a guest blog post written by Avanade alum, Vikki Leach.
So we are more than half way through the Accelerator Program for Women, which is part of our evolving Diversity and Inclusion strategy at Avanade and helps build a more skilled, differentiated and diverse global workforce.
The program is dedicated to supporting our female employees, helping them better navigate their career path by having access to a number of opportunities, such as external confidential coaching, access to mentoring, leading town hall sessions and much more. It will allow them to become more aware and address typical issues and barriers that may be in the workplace such as a lack of visibility and networking, difficulties juggling work and home life, self-limiting behaviors, inflexible working practices, lack of role models, sponsors, mentors and more. (For more info, I wrote about the Accelerator Program for Women in January.)
A number of program participants are successfully networking with each other online and coming together. Women taking part are building a strong Avanade community and experiencing less isolation out at client sites and other areas within the business. Soon they will lead a town hall session as part of International Women’s Day. They will be female colleagues on this topic in their local organizations to share learnings, give insight and potentially offer to be mentors. Collectively, we will be reaching over 800 women in Avanade. And I will be sharing a recap of our premier event in London shortly.
Naturally, program participants are becoming role models for other women in their local regions and areas and then sharing their insight and knowledge, helping to identify the ‘enablers and blockers’ in their environment, which potentially fosters or hinders future achievements.
Avanade leaders and key decision makers have shown strong support for the program. We’re excited that participants will be coming together with key leaders in June to listen, discuss and offer solutions to potential barriers that women may face at Avanade.
This is part of ‘moving the needle’ to help attract, develop and keep women at Avanade, which will attribute to a better gender balance and inclusive working environment. Research states that companies that deploy diversity programs benefit from them financially and outperform competitors.