Yes, the project or initiative has been established for more than 2 years.
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
Avanade introduced its D&I Program in 2015.
In 2016, Avanade was delighted to win the Inaugural Tech Diversity Champion award. In 2017, significant milestones included:
(a) Evolving relationship with fellow Tech Diversity winner DCC - partnering in developing a “Diversity Dashboard”. This presents a great opportunity for Avanade to be at the intersection of technology and Diversity.
(b) We were successful in our first submission into the Australian Workplace Equality Index, the definitive benchmark for LGBTI inclusion in Australia. The credential has provided valuable information about our strengths and areas for improvement. Our results have been benchmarked against other organisations in our industry and the private sector, with the results indicating that we are on-par with our LGBTI network and ally initiatives.
(c) Continuing sponsorships with FiTT and Where Women Work
The Avanade D&I program has 4 key pillars (workgroups) which include:
(1) Gender Equality (inc: LGBTI and STEM)
(2) Corporate Citizenship
(4) Flexibility and Wellbeing
Avanade's dedicated Gender equality workgroup has been operational for over 2 years and has the remit to support a number of activities aimed at supporting a number of gender issues which allow our employees to 'bring their whole selves' to work everyday.
Overview - Provide a summary to introduce the project or initiative
Avanade's Gender Equality program is the essence of our D&I activity. The term - shared by PRIDE Australia has been adopted as its mantra- "Bring your whole self to work". We believe this transcends the LGBTI+ community and can be applied to all our employees. If we are not meeting this purpose our members may not be experiencing the best work life that Avanade can offer them and as a result in the last 12 months we have had a shift in gear from a focus on 'diversity' to a greater emphasis on 'inclusivity'.
The Gender Equality team has a remit to support
(1) International Women’s Day activities, community and promotion
(2) Education: Unconscious Bias training
(6) Industry Recognition – WGEA certification and other (DCC)
(3) LGBTI+ support and awareness
(4) STEM program
(5) IMD – celebrating the differences
Over the 2017 year the team have continued to strengthen and extend the work highlighted in our 2016 nomination. In particular, the success of the annual International Women's Day dinner and associated activities. Naturally, the working groups’ approach to IWD 2017 was to be as broad-reaching, diverse and inclusive as we could be. We sought reach across our immediate team, as well as our ecosystem including customers, and industry partners as a part of the celebration. By celebrating this event Avanade brings attention to the lack of female diversity and leadership in the IT industry and seeks to educate, inform and inspire our female collegues within the organisation and our community.
Detail the approach that was taken to implement the project or initiative, what actions were taken and why?
The celebration of international women's day is not about one event. It as an integrated campaign affecting our whole ecosystem. Not only do we wish to support and amplify the message of gender we also aim to educate our audience (be it direct or social) in the spectacular array of opportunities open to women in IT but also the interesting and creative careers that are available to explore.
Awareness and profile
The promotion of our Gala dinner (as our lead event) began in 2015 and was supported by our Global team and profiles across the company. We realised that this event was a wonderful way to open discussions with our clients on the issue of diversity and share with them our cultural values- thus allowing us and them to build a deeper understanding of each other. Now a staple of our annual event calendar we refresh the conversation and theming at each event.
Our Corporate Citizenship program also plays a significant part in our campaign. Our partnership with UN Women was particularly important in expanding the program as it provided a more global perspective to round out the conversation. Further webinars were supported in partnership for outreach to secondary students and staff. Other charitable relationships - such as Ovarian Cancer Australia and White Ribbon (promoted by our Male Champions of Change) ensure that diversity and inclusion message is extended throughout the year. For as we know- this message is not for one day.
Proving Agile the Gender Equality team has redirected strategy to 'inclusivity' - ensuring that extended programs are developed that not only support groups but actively illustrate the organisations deep respect of o ur diverse population. The depth and breadth of our LGBTI+ program and focus on International Mens Day and Movember have re-energised the Gender equality conversation.
Education and committment
The importance of Gender diversity and inclusion in IT impacts us now internally and will in the future with a need for a pipeline of skilled workers. We therefore added our : FiTT sponsorship and our connection with Where Women Work (which incidently introduced us to DCC). Our STEM program then grew from this initiative through a reflection of comments by our speakers - particularly Pip Marlow, then of Microsoft - who made the comment that it is up to everywoman to bring women through behind her..we should never pull up the ladder. This program include school outreach programs as well as a Teacher Externship (undertaken by Melbourne Girls Grammer and this year St Mary's)
As a result we feel we have come along way toward our purpoase of encouraging everyone to 'bring their wholeself to work'.
Was there organisational/industry or other resistance to the initiative? If so, detail the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative.
There has been no resistance to this program and only support for it expansion and development. However, we have had to deal with some challenges:
(a) Driving invitations to the gala event can be challenging with some team members not connecting the link between our culture and values and that of our ecosystem. Moving the teams thinking from pure technology to a broader corporate relationship understanding has required significant change management skills.
(b) Understanding that Gender Equality effects everyone has been a difficult message to send with some comment coming back that part of our team felt excluded. We have thus undertaken a deliberate shift in our strategy to amplify inclusion and have developed activities focussed on International Mens Day and Movember.
We would love to achieve and do more but need to pick the places we invest to build a campaign that will have maximum impact for all audiences and longevity of assets to ensure an enduring message.
Detail the follow up or response to the project or initative by the organisation /industry /sector. For example has it been extended for a further year, or has the scope been expanded?
The gender campaign has grown from strength to strength year on year. We feel immensly proud of what we have achieved not only internally through employee involvement and pride but also through the external brand we feel is contributed to the amplification of the Gender conversation within our industry and more broadly.
In addition, to this flagship campaign the gender equality team has also continued to expand its LGBTI+ program of education and celebration adding webinars and our significant credential with the Australian Workplace Index through PRIDE. This Australian team has taken its program globally in the last 12 months and now receives significant Global Executive sponsorship.
Other initiatives include an overarching view of the Australian Businesses HR policies and activities to ensure Avanade remains ahead of the curve in delivering a great employee experience.
In 2018 we expect to see this significant campaign - with all its initiatives grow and reach new heights of outreach and activity- so stay tuned! Specifically we will:
- extend our STEM program reach and activity
- increase activity of our Males Champion of Change (inclusive of International Men's Day/Movember)
- Continue to develop/extend our LGBTI+ program
Please provide 2 references being the beneficiaries or people that experienced the change (as a result of the initiative). Details to be provided should include:
4. Phone number
6. Short description (up to 250 words) of association with the nominated diversity initiative eg as a beneficiary, experiencing the outcome, etc.
Senior Manager IT Operations at Australian Securities and Investment Commission
Maria has attended our events and has worked with Avanade.
DCC have worked with our D&I team and HR team in recruitment initiatives but have also been instrumental in supporting us in social media. Resently, through our deep relationship we have embarked on a c-developed proposition for a Diveristy Dashboard.
What outcomes have been achieved against overall program or organisational performance? Using metrics specify these outcomes, for example financial, growth, policy achievement, performance or capabciltiy uplift?
The outcome from this initative is profile , awareness and education of the gap between men and women in the IT industry. The activities and projects help forge a path for women in the industry to hear from industry leaders and accelerate their careers with the options they did not think were either relevant or possible.
STATISTICS AND GOALS
- 30-in-3 – is our drive toward 30% representation of females at Director + Level in 3 years. In 2015 women represented approximately 18% of this group and today we have a lift to 24%.
- Australia supports our womens leadership development through
(a) Attendance at our annual Global training program inclusive of a week at a US University. Each attendee is allocated a mentor.
(b) Employees are chosen to attend 'Springboard' - a female leadership program run by Michelle Sales and focussed on awareness, education and coaching for high performance team members.
ALLIANCES AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
- Alliance with DCC and posting on Jobs Board, support of social media and pro-bono project to develop their Diversity Dashboard.
- Proud sponsors of Where Women Work and Females in Technology & Telecommunications
- Update to Avanade policies to remove gender reference from leave types (Adoption), and pursuit of Super sustenance during Paternity leave.
- We have undertaken and implemented an - Equalise all policies and salary activity with HR