One of Microsoft’s missions has always been to be deeply inclusive. The firm strives to empower every person and organisation to play an active role in creating an environment where people of diverse backgrounds can come together and share perspectives, helping everyone to achieve more.
A Microsoft article from March 2022 reported that while many companies know that diversity generates more innovation and better financial results, less than two per cent of enterprise software start-ups in the USA are owned by women. With the disproportion across the globe, the time it’ll take to close the gender gap in the technology industry will increase from 99 years to 135.
Microsoft has long been involved in programmes and partnerships to address the gender gap in the industry. To name a few: its TEAL programme for young girls to build their passion for technology, its partnership with the United Nations to achieve gender equality and its IAMCP Women in Technology (WIT) Community to connect women in the Microsoft ecosystem.
This year, the firm promoted women in technology in one of its 2022 Microsoft Inspire sessions – Unlock the potential of women in your business, and support your attraction, retention and leadership strategies. The event featured members of the IAMCP WIT Community, who came together to: provide mutual support in achieving professional and personal goals, attract and retain women into careers in information technology, further the objectives of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, and build a community of like-minded women.
One member of the woman-owned Microsoft Partner network, Jennifer Harris, CEO of Technology Management Concepts (TMC), said: “For the past few years, we have been seeing the world transition into more powerful social movements, and it is more important than ever to demonstrate what that looks like in the workplace and throughout our communities. At TMC, we continue to provide a safe and welcoming place for all.”
Aligned with Microsoft’s mission, TMC has combined integrity and compassion since its creation in 1987 by co-founders Jennifer Harris and Brenda Diener. As a female business owner in a male-dominated field, Harris understands how demoralising it can be to not have role models similar to you. As a result, she created the Brenda Diener Memorial Scholarship for Women in Tech to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
TMC is a sponsor of various 'women in tech' organisations including the Annual AAUW Long Beach STEM Career Conference which helps school students become involved in STEM. Harris has spoken at events including the 2021 Women in Tech Reception at the Dynamics Community Summit North America and has also been a guest on podcasts including Next Wave Leadership, Women in ERP and the Common Sense Marketer. In 2022, TMC became certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
Microsoft, TMC and the women of Women Rising – an organisation that supports women through personal and professional development – encourage all businesses to implement leadership strategies for women to work towards breaking the gender imbalance.
Brett Hensley is vice president of sales and marketing at Technology Management Concepts (TMC)