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Avanade’s impressive LGBT agenda

 June 02, 2016

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As a global technology company with over 27,000 digitally connected people in 23 countries, Avanade is committed to promoting collaboration in a diverse and inclusive global work place. Diversity is an integral part of Avanade’s working culture, and the organisation is dedicated to gender and LGBT equality to encourage individuals to reach their potential, form communities and drive innovation and creativity throughout the business.

Adam Warby, Avanade’s CEO supports an open and honest working culture. “As employers, it’s our responsibility to provide a work environment that is safe, supportive and allows people to be part of a bigger community. Equality is paramount, to me personally, and as a company we have made great strides in recent years to be a more diverse organisation and to create that inclusive environment.”

As well as setting a gender equality target of 30% female leadership by 2018, Avanade is committed to supporting LGBT colleagues across the company. 

Strong track record supporting LGBT

Avanade’s LGBT employee resource group was established in 2011 and currently has over 350 members. Avanade is also a diversity champion for Stonewall and is featured in their corporate directory and 'Starting Out' guide as a company which welcomes and includes the LGBT community. Avanade has sent delegates to Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit for many years and participates in local training opportunities. Avanade also provides inclusive non-discrimination protection for LGBT employees regardless of their geographic location.

Since Avanade's inception, their global policies have been fully inclusive of LGBT employees including benefits and programs and they provide transgender inclusive health benefits to their US workforce. In fact,  Avanade signed on to the US Supreme Court Amicus Brief (“Friend of the Court” letter) demanding Marriage Equality at the US Federal level. And Avanade has previously signed on to an Amicus Brief which supported overturning the “Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)” and Proposition 8.

LGBT and Ally week

Avanade Australia rolled out LGBT+ Ally week, which was an enormous success, and is being considered for rollout in other cities around the world. The campaign was arranged around a five-day series of communications and events aimed to recognise people as individuals and acknowledge that everyone has something to bring to Avanade, regardless of their s*xuality and/or gender expression. It also focused on raising awareness about some of the issues LGBT+ people face, in addition to providing information about Avanade’s LGBT+ Ally Program and encouraging people to join.

Adele Rowan, a Senior Consultant at Avanade and a leader of the Cultural Awareness, LGBT+ diversity and inclusion team is proud to be part of an organisation that is openly supporting the LGBT agenda. “It was a fantastic opportunity to share information, encourage our colleagues to learn more about LGBT+ and reinforce Avanade’s value that everyone counts.”

International Pride Month

Avanade celebrates various LGBT events around the world as part of a global Pride initiative. Activities include a marquee event in Seattle which features a roundtable discussion on “The ROI of LGBT Diversity: Business and Personal”. Participants such as Adam Warby (CEO), Erica Fletcher (Global D&I), and Jim Olson (Senior VP, Northeast Region, North America) will be discussing the business benefits of a company supporting diversity as well as the benefits to its employees. 

Various local LGBT events are held at different Avanade locations throughout the month of June, to help to build communities, raise awareness, and celebrate the contributions of Avanade’s LGBT employees across the globe.  Activities will include a wide variety of events, including happy hours in New York, Paris and Madrid, a diversity breakfast in Sao Paolo, participation in local Pride parades, and a movie night in Seattle!

Fostering an inclusive working environment

Avanade is working hard to foster an inclusive working environment and Adam Warby acknowledges that whilst most companies are on a long journey to establish LGBT equality, Avanade should be proud of what it has achieved to date. “Even the most enlightened people or the most progressive companies are all still on a journey. The path is not the same for any two people or any two companies but I can say with all confidence that we are doing a good job at Avanade. We are making progress in creating a workplace that maximizes productivity by allowing people to bring their whole self to work.”

Learn more about Avanade’s commitment to diversity and what it's like to be part of their global team, the values it places on diversity and inclusion and some the amazing activities that happen at Avanade worldwide.

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