Microsoft Australia has partnered with career and leadership coaching organisation Women Rising to run a program to help women in the IT industry take the next step in their careers.
The program is available to both internal Microsoft employees and the wider Microsoft channel partner ecosystem, with some 150 participants already signed up.
The all-virtual program runs for six months, combining evidence-based positive psychology, neuroscience and behavioural studies rolled into one, as well as the latest in gender research, leadership development, wellbeing principles and human flourishing.
Attendants will receive eight modules, including 32 masterclasses and live coaching sessions. An interactive community forum is included to help encourage mentoring, community sharing and networking.
“At Microsoft diversity and inclusion is a key focus, evidenced by our longstanding commitment to gender diversity within the business,” Microsoft Australia chief partner officer Rachel Bondi said.
“For many years we have hosted internal and external programs such as Champions of Change Coalition and Lead Like a Woman to help build women’s confidence and leadership, yet we are conscious that the percentage of female leaders across the tech sector in Australia is still far from where we want it to be.”
“Therefore, we have partnered with Megan Dalla-Camina, a world-leading expert in female leadership, wellbeing and empowerment to develop a fully customisable and scalable program that we are able to offer out on a broader scale to our partners.”
Bondi added Microsoft aims to “radically change” the face of the tech industry by both attracting and retaining female talent and promoting existing and upcoming female leaders.
“We know that our partners and other organisations across the sector are just as passionate about unlocking female talent within their own businesses. We are thrilled with the uptake from across our partner ecosystem but there is still a great opportunity for both partners and other businesses to get involved,” she added.
“As a business, we encourage all organisations within the industry to join us by enrolling their female leaders into the 2021 intake of the program, starting this February, to further build confidence and capability amongst our IT partner sector.”
Leading the program is Microsoft Australia channel manager lead Michelle Markham, who also recently completed the Women Rising program herself.
“Having recently completed the Women Rising program myself, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It has changed my mindset, the way I look at leadership and most importantly it has made me realise what I am truly capable of as a female leader,” she said.
“We know from other women at Microsoft who have completed the course that it significantly increased their career clarity and confidence, enabled them to become more authentic leaders, and improved their influence and impact by developing greater levels of grit, wellbeing and resilience.”
One of the partners taking part is SoftwareONE, who has signed up at least 20 of its staff to the program.
“SoftwareONE is delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the fantastic Women Rising program, which we have opened up to all the women on our ANZ team,” SoftwareONE managing director Stuart Hogben said.
“The response has been amazing, and we are proud that to-date 20 employees have signed up for the 2021 Women Rising course. I would like to thank both Microsoft and the Women Rising team for promoting and running this program.”
The Women Rising Microsoft Partner Program will run from February to July 2021. Microsoft said it secured a reduced rate for its channel partners of $797 + GST per participant.
Interested Microsoft channel partners can register here.