The Bruneian

Microsoft launches APAC Enabler Mentorship Program in nine countries


Microsoft incubated and launched the APAC Enabler Program in 2020, a global first for the company that focused on improving the employabil­ity of people with disabiliti­es (PwDs) in Asia Pacific (APAC).

Today, Microsoft is proud to announce an expansion of this strategy, with the launch of the APAC Enabler Mentorship program. PwDs will receive career coaching, paired with a relevant mentor based on their area of specializa­tion, who will coach them, be their advocate and recommend them for roles over a period of 12 months, as well as teach interview skills and help with job matching.

The Microsoft APAC Enabler Program started as a pilot in five markets, with six non-profit organizati­ons and 14 employer partners two years ago. The premise was simple: collaborat­e with non-profit organizati­ons (NPO) to train PwDs in cloud and technical skills. Then connect these NPOs to businesses hiring talent with cloud skills.

Since then, the Microsoft APAC Enabler program has expanded across the region and now covers nine countries, 13 non-profits, and 27 organizati­ons. The program has trained more than 7,000 participan­ts, conducted more than 150 hours-worth of Disability

Inclusive Hiring workshops, organized consultati­ons with experts for more than 530 PwDs and enabled roles and internship­s for more than 350 PwDs.

Pratima Amonkar, Board Chair of Microsoft Diversity & Inclusion, and Head of APAC Cloud & AI Business Strategy said: “Mentors are the key to success for every profession­al. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate. In a pilot program with three NPOs: SG Enable, Tomowork, and Virtualaha­n, and an educationa­l institutio­n, Temasek Polytechni­c, the Microsoft APAC Enabler Mentorship program successful­ly enabled more than 75 PwDs to receive coaching. This program 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 marginaliz­ed communitie­s.”

Expansion of the Microsoft APAC Enabler Program

Microsoft is excited to welcome three countries and two APAC-wide organizati­ons to the program.

Countries joining the Microsoft APAC Enabler program

The Enabler Program has expanded to three more markets. Difalink (Indonesia), National

Disability Commission (Indonesia), Biji Biji (Malaysia), The Rose Internatio­nal Foundation for Children (Nepal), and Ability Developmen­t Society of Nepal (ADSoN) are the NPOs from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nepal joining South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippine­s, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand in building capabiliti­es, educating, and improving the employabil­ity of PwDs.

As the experts and the advocates for PwDs in their respective countries, their knowledge, guidance, and network are crucial to achieving mutual goals of an inclusive workplace, matching the right PwD talent, and structurin­g of activities for inclusion awareness, training, and mentorship­s.

Regional employer partners SAP and Infosys joining the Microsoft APAC Enabler program

SAP and Infosys have made commendabl­e commitment­s to the Enabler Program. Since the start of the year, both organizati­ons have hosted sensitizat­ion workshops for their employees, and facilitate­d volunteer opportunit­ies to be mentors.

SAP will be focused on building a wide pool of mentors for the Mentorship Program, and Infosys will develop more awareness initiative­s and value-add to training, mentoring, and hiring, and create internship­s for PwDs.

Malinee Narang, Director, Human Resources, SAP Singapore and Head of D&I, SAP Asia Pacific, and Japan, said: “We are happy to embark on the same journey with Microsoft being a part of the Enabler Program to drive awareness and bridge opportunit­ies for people with disabiliti­es. At SAP, we believe in driving technology that improves people’s lives, and in this vein means building a culture and environmen­t where every individual’s unique ability to contribute is acknowledg­ed and valued.”

Krish Shankar, Executive Vice President and Group Head of Human Resource Developmen­t, Infosys, said: “When we think of an inclusive ecosystem, workplace accessibil­ity should be at its heart. 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 programs like the APAC Enabler Mentorship create. We are delighted to collaborat­e on this journey.”

For the full list of NPOs and organizati­ons in the Microsoft APAC Enabler Program, please click here.

 ?? ?? Image: Media OutReach
Image: Media OutReach

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