Karen Fassio Director, Microsoft Partner Marketing, Global Partner Solutions

Building a future that works better for more of us 

Man at laptop

Together, we can build an inclusive economy that lifts the world.  

Building opportunity and access for all through technology is key to ensuring a future that works for more of us because increasingly, people will need to understand and innovate with technology to participate in the global economy. 

One of our guiding principles is to enable a Microsoft partner ecosystem that amplifies diverse voices and represents the world, including the one billion+ people living with disabilities.  

I am asking for your help in making a collective push to increase economic access and make diversifying technology a strategic priority and part of the fabric of what we do together. As technology innovators, we are in a unique position to become a force for systemic change. 

Seizing the inclusive economic opportunity 

Expectations for business leaders have changed. Both customers and employees now want businesses to help build a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable world. Leaders who recognize this moment—and market opportunity—are integrating purpose-led strategies and building purpose-driven organizations.  

Consider this business impact: 

  • Purpose-driven companies report 30% more innovation.  
  • Ethnically diverse companies out-perform homogenous companies by 35%. 

Do you already have a technology solution that contributes to a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable world? Join our #Buildfor2030 campaign

Starting with yourself 

We can all work towards becoming a transformational leader that helps lead with purpose, build diverse teams, and lights up a sense of possibility. Enabling a culture of changemaking transforms organizations and its priorities and helps an organization capitalize on the competitive advantages of an inclusive economy.  

I began my career as a receptionist, learning the ropes on the job while striving to be me. I eventually realized that part of my work is to be a voice and show a way of doing things authentic to me and the people I represent.  

As a result, I co-founded Women in Cloud, a community-led economic development organization with an ambitious mission: to take action with global leaders, corporations, and policymakers to help women entrepreneurs create $1 billion in economic access and opportunity by 2030. 

Transformation that starts within eventually radiates outward into the broader culture, generating wider and wider impact.  

Increasing access and equity 

Microsoft is investing in leadership, community engagement, and digital skilling and grateful for our partner-led communities pushing us to do more.  

  • We are investing in our partner-led communities like Women in Cloud and The WIT Network to help more women see themselves in technology and reverse declines in their engagement with the field.  
  • Microsoft is launching Career Connector to help place 50,000 job seekers skilled by Microsoft nonprofit and learning partners in tech-enabled jobs within the Microsoft ecosystem over the next three years, with a specific focus on women and racial and ethnic minorities in technology. This new service will help our channel partners find the skilled and diverse talent they need for technical and tech-enabled roles.  

One of our partners, Yasmin Ali, is a changemaker who creates paths to tech jobs for traditionally marginalized communities. As founder & CEO of Skillspire, a coding bootcamp, she meets students where they are in their digital skilling journey to secure their place in the tech economy. Driven by purpose, she is reaching back and pulling up.   

Connecting more deeply to diversity & inclusion  

Recently at Include 2021, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, and Darren Walker, Ford Foundation President made the human, business, and geopolitical case for organizations to make a deeper connection to diversity & inclusion. 

Building an inclusive culture can help drive innovation, competitive advantage, and impact. Think about who is on your solutioning team. If you don’t have women on that team, for example, your solution is already at risk for not reflecting or capturing market needs. 

Enabling digital inclusion also means tech doesn’t have to be one size fits all. Configurability can help you reach more customers across the globe.  

By listening with the goal of understanding the lived experiences of others, we can nurture our own learning journey and help turn more diverse ideas into inclusive actions. 

Joining our voices and looking forward 

Together, we can generate inclusive economic opportunity. With a focus on personal and cultural transformation and a commitment to collective action, we can increase economic access and diverse representation within our partner ecosystem.  

We know that tech can solve so many things. Augment human potential. Level the playing field for people living with disabilities. Connect grandparents with their grandchildren living far away from each other.   

Together, let’s positively impact society by including more of us in our shared future, reimagined.  

Learn more  

Power an inclusive economy

Connect with like-minded others

Take the Accessibility Fundamentals course  

Register for the Microsoft Ability Summit.