Female role models are crucial for us here at Avanade Ireland — as they are across our company globally. And if you wanted evidence of just why, you need only rewind a couple of months. Because in June of this year, Pam Maynard was appointed CEO of Avanade Inc. Just a few years previously, Pam was at the helm of our UK & Ireland business.
So, when we say inclusion and diversity is a core part of our DNA at Avanade Ireland, we really mean it.
With Pam as a role model for our program, the challenge of attracting women into the workplace is much more than a gratifying corporate initiative — it’s fundamental to our values.
How we’re building a more inclusive business
The Irish technology sector is changing fast. Encouraging women to join Avanade Ireland helps to ensure we stay relevant. And it enables us to attract the best of the best candidates.
Our ambition to build a truly diverse workforce is driven by a desire to better reflect society — and the organizations we work with.
We’ve already made good progress on our mission to achieve a better gender balance. We’ve set stretch goals for female representation of our Irish workforce for FY20, and we’re delighted to report that we’re nearing parity in our candidate pipeline.
This is one component of a wider plan we have designed to encourage more female candidates for open roles in Avanade Ireland. And we’re focusing on five core areas:
There’s intense competition for the best female candidates in Ireland. We’re doing our best to attract top prospects, whether that’s through attractive packages or by emphasizing the value of our leading-edge workplace experience.
One example that bridges both these efforts is our flexible working program. We understand life challenges for parents and caregivers, and we therefore offer a comprehensive flexible working option to all employees. This can be particularly valuable for parents with young children.
But we’re also casting the recruitment net wider — reaching out to women in locations across the Avanade and Accenture global network in order to build a more diverse workforce. We’re looking at transferable skills to fill our vacancies too — particularly in disciplines such as software engineering, CRM, project management and infrastructure.
We’re encouraging more young people to explore careers in technology, especially women. That’s why we’re investing in the potential of apprenticeships. In fact, our apprenticeship scheme formally launches this September.
We’re also plugging into wider industry initiatives like Fastrack to IT — a program which works in collaboration with the Irish government, national education and training agencies. Through these efforts we hope to expand the future candidate pool.
3. Role models
We’ve already mentioned how our own CEO Pam is a role model for women in tech. But we’re also encouraging women from across Avanade to share their experiences both internally and externally.
We believe everybody counts, and we have so many great role models across Avanade. In addition to our male colleagues, we’re raising the visibility of our female role models. Our female team members can become ambassadors for (and provide mentoring support to) other women who are seeking to enter the tech sector. We have a female ambassador network across Europe and a dedicated “Pathways to Success” speaking series that primarily features female role models to ensure their stories and experiences are visible.
4. Wider market initiatives
The STEM and STEAM programs that seek to drive real change in the technology industry are another opportunity that we’re starting to capitalize on to boost female recruitment. We will be collaborating with peers and industry organizations to help educate potential female candidates about the exciting and rewarding opportunities of a career in technology.
And finally, we’re holding ourselves to account. What gets measured gets done, so we’ve put KPIs in place to ensure ownership and accountability for our diversity recruitment programs (which subsequently helps them to gather momentum). Our leadership team is responsible for implementing the strategies that are designed to hit these targets.
Designing a better future
Our new Ready by Design campaign is all about helping organizations be prepared for anything society and business throws at them. That includes inclusion and diversity challenges.
We attended the Women in Tech Dublin event on 12–13 September 2019, exploring the Ready by Design theme further. Chris Lloyd-Jones discussed how digital innovation is transforming the world and our lives and how design-led thinking techniques can help us to harness emerging tech and create a better and more equal future.
This article was originally published on Avanade and written by Graham Healy, Country Manager of Avanade Ireland.
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