On May 6, the Women in Cloud community joined together as we hosted a premier #WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn with Microsoft. This series is a networking experience designed to open the doors for leading fortune companies and brands to connect with technology business builders. This intimate learning series offers a space to learn about how to do business with Microsoft, understand their company culture, and get access to decision makers & procurement officers. 

Fortune L&L Session Microsoft

To begin the event, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and President of Women in Cloud (WIC) set the stage delving into the impact of the partnership between Microsoft and WIC, focusing on important topics such as:

  • Driving an Inclusive Digital Economy by accelerating representation of 50% of population (women) that were left out in the $7 Trillion cloud opportunity
  • Cloud Skilling – Providing 1,500 cloud scholarship and First Cloud Center of Excellence
  • Inspire fortune brands and other companies to partner strategically to accelerate Corporate ESG efforts
  • Digital Co-Selling with Microsoft & access to Community PDM
  • Cloud Marketplace – Diversity Lens on The Marketplace
  • Voices for Innovation – Policy Advocacy

Watch Empowering Women in Tech keynote with Charlotte Yarkoni here:

Following Chaitra Vedullapalli’s Opening Remarks, an inspirational Keynote: Empowering Women in Tech was led by Charlotte Yarkoni, President, Commerce + Ecosystems at Microsoft.She shared the impactful statistics that less than 2% of software startups in the USA feature a woman founder, and the Covid-19 pandemic will increase the time it will take to close the digital gender gap by 36 years. As a strong advocate for girls, young women, and women to be in STEM, Charlotte explained how diverse companies generate more innovation and better financial results than non/less diverse organizations.

The attendee chat feed was filling fast as the community quickly resonated with Charlotte. 

These alarming statistics call for change, showing how important workplaces and allies are to creating economic access and opportunities for all. Charlotte showed us how Microsoft values creating a healthy ecosystem for employees, partners, and customers to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft is committed to creating a culture where diverse perspectives are invited, where inclusive behavior and authenticity are the norm, and everyone is empowered to bring their true self to work. Microsoft has implemented multiple programs to create access for women, such as a program supporting women founders in their end-to-end start-up journey, and a mentoring program to pair women employees at Microsoft with women founders. Through collective action, we can foster women’s talent in tech, which is a critical component to growing women’s presence in technology.

Watch the Inclusive Economic Opportunity Panel here:

Next, we excitedly introduced the Inclusive Economic Opportunity Panel: Talent, Business Development, and Supplier Diversity with moderator Diego Rejtman – GM, Developer Relations at Microsoft, Mazhar Mohammed – CVP, Partner & Seller Experience at Microsoft, Jaci Santos Shibao – Tech and Sales Strategy, GPS Sr Director; WAM ERG Co-Chair at Microsoft, and Shara Holliday – Sr Director, Procurement at Microsoft. 

 

The attendees were heavily engaged in the conversation via the chat, making this panel highly interactive for the audience. The panelists provided numerous words of wisdom to the audience regarding the Microsoft workforce, partnerships, customers, and resources for entrepreneurs to be positioned for supplier diversity opportunities —  giving the attendees a realistic look at how Microsoft values and celebrates a diverse ecosystem. 

A unique component of the #WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn Series is the Cloud Solution Showcase, where we feature two entrepreneurs and their solutions for the marketplace. This month, Lucy Flores – Elyon International, and Natasha Tetruyeva – eKidz.eu were brought to the stage to bring awareness and education to their companies. 

Watch Elyon International Inc here: 

 

Watch eKidz.eu here: 

Closing out the session, but definitely a community favorite, was the Roundtable Advisor Experience where leaders in Microsoft met face to face (virtually) with attendees and discussed important topics: Leadership & careers, Changemaking for inclusive growth, Women thriving at work, Skilling opportunities, Supplier diversity, Marketplace engagement, and Hiring & culture.

Featuring Microsoft Roundtable Advisors: 

  • Diego Rejtman – GM, Developer Relations
  • Gena Goh – Channel Inclusion and Impact Strategy Lead, Global Partner Solutions
  • Jaci Santos Shibao – Tech and Sales Strategy, Sr Director, Global Partner Solutions; Women at Microsoft ERG Co-Chair, Microsoft
  • Debbie Uttecht – Partner Marketing Lead, Worldwide Learning
  • Joel Gillespie – Program Manager, Supplier Diversity
  • Madiha Khan – Engagement Lead, Commercial Marketplace Services
  • Michelle Shafer – Sr Talent Acquisition Manager, Talent Acquisition 

Watch the Introduction to the Roundtables and the event Closing Remarks to catch a glimpse of this experience.

As the highest registered and attended #WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn in the series, this event impacted greatly the Women in Cloud community. With outstanding engagement on social media (Tracie Cobian) and in the event chat (Stacy Tatem), WIC encouraged this behavior with gift cards giveaways. 

Useful Resources: 

Corporate sustainability has come a long way since the early days, when executives were focused on the “triple bottom line”—a commitment to environmental, social, and economic goals. These days, sustainability is not just a public relations effort; it is a fundamental part of the business.

When was the last time you think about how your company engages with sustainability?

You’re not alone. In fact, most CEOs and business leaders don’t often consider their corporate sustainability engagements. That’s why we’ve put together five ways that executives can improve their company’s engagement with sustainable practices.

Start with a working definition of ESG — and set some achievable goals.

As a business leader, you’ll want to set some concrete goals that are based on ESG metrics specific to the industry in which your company operates. Start small and be realistic about what your team can realistically achieve within a certain period of time. For example, if your industry is energy production, you might start by committing to a 10% reduction in energy use at all facilities over the next three years. This goal is measurable (simply compare this year’s energy use against last year’s) and specific (10%). It also has a clear endpoint (three years). You may not be able to reach that goal immediately: your facilities were built in an era before environmental responsibility was top of mind, so you may need to invest capital into new equipment or retrofitting old equipment before you can reduce energy usage by 10%.

Construct an Corporate ESG Framework.

Constructing a framework to determine how to prioritize and implement ESG practices is vital. It starts with picking your framework such as SASB, TCFD, GRI, SDGs and measuring your MSCI ESG Ratings. These will help you determine which ESG factors are important to your business, industry, and stakeholders. These standards should be tailored to meet the needs of your organization, as well. ESG Focused framework development involves identifying internal expertise and external partners that can assist with the process. Once you identify what those ESG factors are, you must develop a strategy for implementing them into your organization’s operations in order to achieve measurable results.

Get CEO and Senior leaders on board.

Don’t expect your ESG strategy to gain momentum or even see the light of day without the support of your company’s CEO and senior leadership. When you’re just starting out, your role will be more about collecting data than coming up with strategies, so start by introducing yourself to senior leaders. You’ll want to book a meeting with the CEO and her inner circle (COO or CFO, if you have them) to discuss ESG goals. Explain that you would like their input on what they think ESG should look like for your organization. If they aren’t already familiar with ESG as a concept, take a few minutes to give them some background information and explain that you are taking these initial steps in order to get ahead of possible regulations and meet investor expectations, which will help preserve growth over the long term. With these points in mind, ask the CEO if there are any aspects related to sustainability or social impact that she thinks could be improved within the company (e.g., waste management), and then take notes on how she answers these questions.

Once you’ve wrapped up this discussion and taken note of what they said, schedule another meeting 10-15 days later where you can share some concrete next steps based on their feedback from last time. At this point it’s likely that many people will still be curious about exactly what needs to happen for an ESG strategy at your company—the key is providing clear direction instead of being overly vague about why it matters or allowing stakeholders to fill in their own blanks based on assumptions they may have heard elsewhere but aren’t relevant for your industry/company specifically.

Identify and Prioritize ESG Reporting and Disclosures Needs

  • Identify and prioritize ESG reporting and disclosure needs. This should include analyzing your company’s current state as well as understanding its competitive landscape.
  • Establish metrics to track key ESG performance indicators. By establishing a baseline, you can more accurately measure progress toward your goals. As you select your key metrics, keep in mind that the objective is to create a system that is both relevant and easily accessible for multiple stakeholders. To ensure relevance, consider using framework-specific metrics (e.g., those that align with MSCI ESG Scores) wherever possible—it will make it easier for those familiar with the MSCI standards to compare you to other companies using MSCI, who are also likely reporting on similar metrics, which allows them to understand how your company stacks up against competitors.* Be transparent in disclosing ESG information—optimally through a publicly available report which covers material issues and provides an independent assurance statement as appropriate

Recruit Women Leaders to Lead ESG

Although the world of corporate responsibility is still largely male-dominated, women are making their mark as rising leaders in Asia. The reason? They tend to take a more holistic approach to ESG issues and have better relationships with stakeholders. These two traits go hand in hand in building trust among those that make decisions, which can lead to positive business outcomes down the line. As companies continue to grow and their missions expand, it’s important that they put their arms around sustainable practices—but it’s equally important that they find ways to make them feel like home for all employees.

This year more and more enterprise companies are in search of comprehensive global sustainability operating models and developing more leadership opportunities for women.

So, where do they start? To address the market needs, we are launching the WICxLEAD, the next generation Corporate ESG Women’s Leadership Accelerator, designed to empower corporate women and entrepreneurs to ignite economic access. Our scholars will learn how to lead and influence digital transformation projects through cloud and AI technology, teaching them how to grow their executive presence, personal brand identity, public speaking impact, global access creation and community development strategies giving them a powerful platform to accelerate as industry ESG influencers and purpose-driven leaders. 

Identify Digital Transformation Solution

Digital transformation, or the use of digital technologies to solve problems and create value in an organization, is a powerful tool for helping your company achieve its ESG goals. With digital transformation, you can show employees and customers that your company is committed to change and improvement—and by demonstrating this commitment through positive action, you’ll be able to prove your worth as a shareholder.

Successful companies know that taking care of their people will lead to better business performance in the long run. A digital transformation solution that focuses on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is an excellent way to show employees (and potential talent) that they’re valued by the company.

Additionally, moving business processes online increases efficiency—which means fewer hours worked for employees who need time off for family or personal matters, less wasted materials from paper-based forms, and more streamlined production cycles. Even if the process itself can’t be automated or digitized just yet, it’s still a great idea to give employees mobile tools so they can work faster from anywhere. In other words: with less time spent doing menial tasks like paperwork or waiting around for approvals from managers at headquarters, workers have more time to focus on innovative projects and produce higher quality work overall. Here is an example of how FEDx leveraging digital transformation efforts to reduce carbon footprint.

Establish Community Partners to Scale company’s impact.

  • Co-brand and co-develop solutions with a dedicated community partner like Women In Cloud
  • Leverage social media campaigns to spread the word about your partnership and efforts, as well as its success stories.
  • Use community partnerships to help with funding your programs, particularly those in underserved communities.
  • Community partners are also useful for testing ideas before scaling up, and have access to volunteers that can be used for small-scale projects or events before larger scale implementation begins.

We believe when we work together to make our planet and people healthy through our actions, we all can accelerate our growth in ways that generate sustainable outcomes including profits.

Today we kicked off our third annual #empowHERaccess campaign and are delighted to announce the call for nominations for the 2022 #empowHERaccess Awards are now open!

WIC is inviting you to join in acknowledging and celebrating the leaders, advisors, investors and partners who have provided you with access and advocacy throughout your entrepreneurial journey. WIC has created five awards to recognize and commemorate these vital members of our community: 

  • Digital Transformation Project of the Year Award
  • Women in Technology Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Supplier of the Year Award
  • Advisor of the Year Award
  • Investor of the Year Award

As a community, we count on your support to spread the word about the call for nominations so that we reach all of the noteworthy organizations and programs around the world. 

Learn more about the 2022 #empowHERaccess campaign here.

Click here to learn more about each award and submit your nominations.

Important:

  1. Organizations, people and initiatives can nominate themselves!
  2. Nominations are open until June 10, 2021
  3. This year’s award ceremony will be on July 14, 2021 during the #WiCxInspire Event

Please contact wicmarketing@womenincloud.com with any questions or suggestions you might have.

JPMorgan Chase, one of Fortune 100 top companies, has joined forces with Women In Cloud to accelerate gender inclusion and equality in the tech industry.

On February 25th, we would love it if you joined us at the WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn Series. It will be the perfect opportunity to connect and learn from JPMorgan Chase’s top leaders and decision-makers— and an amazing opportunity to learn how to do business with JPMorgan Chase and understand their company culture.

What to expect from #WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn Series?

  • Access to job opportunities focused on digital transformation
  • Learn how  to navigate and do business with JPMorgan Chase
  • Create new connections with key leaders of the industry
  • Learn about innovative enterprise-ready cloud solutions by women tech founders via Cloud Solution Showcase

#WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn Series is a unique and enriching experience for women tech entrepreneurs to connect with Fortune 100 companies, learn about digital transformation opportunities, and accelerate gender equity.

Attendance for this event is entirely free— and only a quick application is required. Once approved, you will be granted access 10+ WICxFortune100 events in 2022

We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more here: https://www.womenincloud.com/wicxfortune100-lunch-learn-series/

This annual summit left us all with an enormous sense of gratitude and fulfillment. From January 26 – 29, we truly celebrated the power of Collective Influence. And it only was possible thanks to all the support and collaboration of our sponsors, partners, speakers, volunteers, and of course, our community.

As well as past summits, we counted on Remo’s partnership to carry on the event online. It allowed people all around the world to connect, participate and share with others.

The 4th Annual Summit: Spectacular highlights

This past Summit exceeded our expectations, and we made some incredible achievements:

  • We had more than 850 attendees over the course of the four days of the event. And more than 28 countries were represented by all of you. That truly shows the power of Collective Influence as a global movement.
  • More than 200 people contributed to this experience to create economic access for women in technology. Thanks to our speakers, sponsors, advisors, recruiters, & community partners.
  • More than 280 companies were represented to make the future of tech inclusive and sustainable.
  • The WIC Digital Network grew by 132% over the last 30 days.
  • We counted on the participation of more than 155 Advisor Leaders in the Cloud Leader Circle and received more than 50 requests over 72 hours.
  • Pradyna Desh, CEO of Advocat.AI was the winner of the #CloudInnovateHEr Global Pitch Challenge. Huge congratulations to her! You can learn more about Advocat.AI by clicking here.

These incredible highlights are not more than proof that year after year, more and more people are getting involved and taking action to work together towards a world when diversity and equity are granted for all women in the tech industry.

Focusing on Leadership and Professional Development

This year’s programming was completely new and different to past editions. We also counted with the participation of an incredible group of speakers, all of them experts in their areas. 

The Summit was packed with a series of sessions, live and recorded, carefully designed to help them grow both, personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Live Power Panels: Groups of experts and leaders from the tech industry discussed and gave great insight to all attendees about remote workforce, allyship, youth in STEM, leadership, DEI, and GTM strategies such as Co-Selling. 
  • Keynotes: Experts such as Pamela Maynard, Vinita Gupta, Joyce Mullen, and Michelle Green discussed leadership and company growth. Gavriella Schuster presented the #beCOME Allies for allyship.
  • Power Talks: These incredible talks were packed with great inspiration about finding a new path on your professional life, including transitioning jobs, mastering the interview,  #RockYourPitch, and valuable insight about cloud jobs and cybersecurity.
  • Workshops and Bootcamps: #FindYourFit, as well as the #ThoughtLeadership bootcamps were incredibly valuable and inspirational. Also, #TechProfessional bootcamp provided great insight to those embarking a new professional adventure.

What our community is saying?

  • I loved the content, the speakers and the networking. Single stream meant a very simple and effective way to participate in all the sessions. The Power Talks
  • I enjoyed the calibre of speakers, the interactive and insightful chats, the linkedIn links of speakers posted during their sessions. and the avalanche of connections i have made on Linkedin and Twitter.
  • One of the better online events. you didn’t try to boil the ocean. things were broken down into manageable segments. running into Anne, one of the speakers, in the lounge shortly before she was scheduled to talk. it felt relaxed and surprisingly easy to chat with her.
  • Sessions about leadership and roundtable discussions

Events like the Annual Summit are the perfect occasion to connect with others and to network. Attendees took full advantage of the Event Hub for networking with others, as well as the Roundtables for discussing common interests. The Remo platform was also a big protagonist for networking, allowing attendees to connect, chat, and speak to each other while waiting for the next live session.

How to get involved with WIC?

  • Have a lot of time?

What’s Next at WIC? Stay Tuned!

  • JP Morgan Chase – Join us to Meet JPMC Leaders & Recruiters at the next #WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn Session on February 25. Registration Details Coming Soon!
  • WICxIWD 2022 – Mastering Leadership to #BreakTheBias March 31
  • Learn more about events here

Did you attend the Summit? Tell us your experience! We’d love to know how was it for you. Don’t be afraid of leaving a comment, and thank you for assisting!