There are summer internships, and then there are experiences that can inspire and shape the course of a young person's life. One partner took a simple request to host an intern and imagined the possibilities. Partnering with Microsoft, Dynamics Intelligence is creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will expose young minds to the many possibilities in tech.
"When I was asked by the City of Seattle's Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) if we would be interested in offering an internship program, I thought about what I would want to experience as a student," said Jenna Bourgeois, CEO of Dynamics Intelligence. "I'd want to work with great people, be part of a diverse team where I felt comfortable and work on a meaningful project." More
Posted by Barb Levisay on April 12, 2018 at 12:05 PM0 comments
For children living in extreme poverty in Haiti, completing education is grueling. To pay their way through school, students take a couple of years off to work and then return when they have saved enough. Many are in their late 20's by the time they graduate. They've had limited exposure to career paths, with only nurses and teachers as role models.
IAMCP WIT (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners-Women in Technology community) is setting out to change that reality for a deserving group of Haitian young people, equipping them to go farther. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 15, 2018 at 10:47 AM0 comments
As difficult as it is to find and hire qualified employees these days, you certainly don't want to lose them. If, like most Microsoft partners, your workforce is more diverse than it was a decade ago, taking an objective look at your company culture would be well advised. Through the eyes of your new employees, the cultural and business practices that have developed over time may feel more like barriers than opportunities.
To recognize and address cultural and organizational bias in your organization, you need to ask hard questions and be open to uncomfortable answers. Some questions to get you started on the journey include: More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 14, 2018 at 7:04 PM0 comments
Based on the interest level at the Microsoft Inspire conference this year, attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce is a high priority for the leaders of partner organizations.
While it would be easy to think that recruiting is the first step in diversity initiatives, those partners who have been around for a while may need to start with an internal review. The cultural changes required to create an inclusive atmosphere in an organization with few women and minorities may be more difficult than expected. More
Posted on November 30, 2017 at 10:58 AM0 comments
Most partners today recognize the value of actively recruiting and hiring to diversify their workforce. Competition for top talent is fierce, and partners need to appeal to all potential candidates to fill their recruiting pipelines.
When those potential employees take the first step in their research and visit your Web site, do they feel welcome? This may be a good time to stand in the shoes of those candidates and take an objective look at the messages your Web site conveys. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 01, 2017 at 12:02 PM0 comments
In 1929, Amelia Earhart invited 117 women -- the total population of women licensed as pilots -- to join her in establishing a professional organization that would promote the advancement of aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support. Ninety-nine trailblazers attended the first meeting of the international organization of women pilots, inspiring the official name, "The Ninety-Nines."
In the spirit of the original Ninety-Nines, an ISV partner is recognizing trailblazing women in the technology industry to inspire another generation. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 05, 2017 at 10:10 AM0 comments
While college students may be prepared for the technical aspects of consultancy, many partners hesitate to recruit employees directly out of school. Concerns about graduates' lack of business savvy and practical experience keep many partners from tapping the college market.
But to expand and diversify the workforce, both at the partner and channel levels, it's critical to bring in fresh talent, not just poach experienced consultants. One partner is supporting impressive growth through a repeatable college recruiting and training program that introduces eight to 10 young people to the consulting world each year. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 20, 2017 at 11:09 AM0 comments
Panel discussions held to address the challenges of women and technology can be pretty predictable. Breaking the mold, one chapter of Women in Technology (WIT) is taking a creative approach to drive conversations that are as inclusive as the partner channel they envision. And as a side benefit, participants are likely to gain as much as they give.
For the past four years, the WIT special interest group of the Chicago chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) has held a panel presentation, "The Male Perspective -- Women, IT and Leadership." The brain child of Sharan Hildebrand, vice president of sales at Capax Global LLC, the annual event takes a unique approach to the women-in-tech topic. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on August 31, 2017 at 8:26 AM0 comments
Finding and hiring skilled workers is a growth-inhibiting challenge for Microsoft partners -- and it's likely to get worse before it gets better. Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Code.org estimates that by 2020, there will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them.
In an effort to help Microsoft partners bridge that daunting gap, the U.S. arm of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP-US) has joined forces with Voices for Innovation (VFI) to launch a STEM scholarship fund. The IAMCP Rudy Rodriguez STEM Scholarship will award $2,500 scholarships to IAMCP-US members and their families in support of STEM-related, post-secondary school expenses. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on August 10, 2017 at 3:27 PM0 comments