Microsoft has launched its APAC Enabler Mentorship programme in nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
This mentorship programme is an expansion of the APAC Enabler Program – which began in 2020 in five markets: South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – aims to improve the employability of people with disabilities (PwDs). Sri Lanka joined the scheme in 2021, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal joining this year.
As part of the mentorship programme, PwDs will receive career guidance from a relevant mentor who will coach and recommend them for roles over a period of 12 months.
The aim of the APAC Enabler Program is to collaborate with non-profit organisations to train PwDs in cloud and technical skills. These organisations will then connect these individuals with businesses that are hiring talent with cloud skills.
As well as covering nine countries, the programme also includes 13 non-profits organisations and 27 companies. As part of the programme, more than 7,000 participants have been trained and more than 150 hours of disability inclusive workshops have been conducted, enabling roles for more than 350 PwDs.
“Mentors are the key to success for every professional,” said Pratima Amonkar, chair of Microsoft diversity and inclusion, and head of APAC cloud and artificial intelligence business strategy. “A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate. This programme is that crucial next step to improving diversity in hiring across Asia Pacific and I’m so proud to see our incredible partners step up to be the voice of inclusion and commit to inclusive hiring at a time when the pandemic has been hardest on marginalised communities.”
Microsoft partners have contributed towards the scheme since it began in 2020. For example, SAP and Infosys have hosted workshops for their employees and facilitated volunteer opportunities to be mentors. Moving forward, SAP will focus on providing a variety of opportunities for mentorship programmes whilst Infosys will improve its training, mentoring and hiring processes.
“When we think of an inclusive ecosystem, workplace accessibility should be at its heart,” said Krish Shankar, executive vice president and group head of human resource development at Infosys. “At Infosys, we are deeply committed to building and sustaining an inclusive workplace. We also share the vision of accessible workplaces with Microsoft and believe in the potential for good that programmes like the APAC Enabler Mentorship create. We are delighted to collaborate on this journey.”