BT and Avanade to partner Odgers Berndtson to fast-track female leaders in Tech

04 Jun 2019

BT and Avanade to partner Odgers Berndtson to fast-track female leaders in Tech

Odgers Berndtson to launch mentoring initiative for senior women in the UK technology sector

Odgers Berndtson is signing industry partners across the technology sector to back a mentoring initiative to help women in senior leadership, working in technology, move into board level roles.

The programme follows a recent global study, Women Leaders in Technology of almost 1,000 senior technology appointments made by the firm in the five years to January 2019. This showed that whilst women have doubled their share of top appointments and narrowed the earnings gap, they still lag behind men in both senior specialist and top commercial roles across the technology sector. 

BT, representing telecoms and media, and Avanade, the leading digital innovator on the Microsoft ecosystem, will partner with Odgers Berndtson to launch The Rebus Programme later this year. This new initiative will mirror other industry schemes supported by Odgers Berndtson to help guide women in their progression to senior leadership and board-level roles.

“Between now and the official launch event on October 1st, we hope to attract other companies in the tech sector to join Rebus, to provide mentoring support and to nominate women already in leadership roles who have board potential. There are now more opportunities for women to take their seat at the board table, but proactive measures are needed to help women progress,” said Holly Addison, Head of Consumer Digital & Telecoms at Odgers Berndtson.

The goal is to provide women who want to be considered for top executive and board roles in technology companies with outstanding mentoring, advice and motivation from objective mentors to help them achieve their ambitions. This is particularly valuable for women working in smaller companies across the UK tech sector where formal support may not otherwise be available. 

“The vision behind this mentoring scheme is to give talented women the empowerment and support they need to achieve leadership roles and reach their career aspirations,” said Rachel Higham, Managing Director, IT at BT.

Laura Malcolm, Chief Operating Officer at Avanade UK added: “Accelerating gender diversity at all levels of the organisation has been a priority for Avanade for some time and we are delighted to join the Rebus initiative. Diverse teams and inclusive environments are critical in driving business innovation and we’re happy that Avanade will continue to play a key role in helping more women to reach their true potential while promoting their growth and advancement.”

“We want women to believe in themselves and their ability to contribute, at the most senior levels, to the success of their organisations. Having the confidence is often half the battle,” said Holly Addison.

Odgers Berndtson is among a small group of executive search firms top-ranked by the UK government for its performance in appointing women to board positions.

Last year half of FTSE 350 board searches by the firm resulted in a female appointment, with two-thirds of those women being new to FTSE 350 boards.