Seizing the opportunities of an inclusive economy

Regular Contributor

Written by Karen Fassio, Director, Microsoft Partner Marketing, Global Partner Solutions


On the Global Partner Solutions team here at Microsoft, our mission is to enable a partner ecosystem that represents the diversity and unique perspectives of our world. Every day, we strive to foster a community that drives inclusive economic growth across all solution areas, industries, and customer segments.


March is a time to reflect on the lives of women and girls around the globe with International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8 and Women’s History Month lasting all month in the United States. This year, I’m reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has had major and uneven economic impact: 97 million people have fallen below the US$1.90 international poverty line since 2019, and 163 million more people are living on less than US$5.50 a day. These newly impoverished people are more likely to be women, children, and unskilled and informal workers.


As the pandemic wore on, it prompted many of us to personally rethink our economic situation, our work environments, and our long-term goals. In fact, we are amid the Great Reshuffle: 41% of global respondents to the Work Trend Index are considering changing employers in the next year, in search of more flexibility and jobs that are aligned with their values. We know that companies with more diverse management teams generate more innovation and 19% higher revenue, and we must intentionally support women during this time to invest in themselves, skill-up, and find their next growth opportunity.


I believe firmly in creating economic access and opportunity for women around the world. With the support of many people, I co-founded Women in Cloud, a community-led economic development organization, with an ambitious goal: to take action with global leaders, corporations, and policymakers to help women entrepreneurs create $1 billion in economic access and opportunity by 2030.


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