During the week of November 4th, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. There were approximately 850 attendees from across the healthcare industry, including those working in the provider, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and plan/payer settings. The focus of this year's conference was on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). I spoke about Accessibility as a key component of D&I initiatives.
Besides enjoying the beautiful weather and escaping another snowstorm in my hometown of Denver, what I found most intriguing about the conference was the attendees’ profound desire to elevate the Diversity and Inclusion conversation in their organizations. The audience exhibited a strong interest in learning and understanding how technology supports D&I initiatives.
Some of the biggest realizations for the HBA members was seeing exactly how accessible technology plays a major role in D&I programs; how very cool the technology is and the ease of use and the positive impact engaging with accessibility technology has to our businesses and employees. However, Accessible technology lights up all parts of our lives and it was moving to see how a brief view of accessible technology could encourage many questions that would impact not only our work lives but our communities, our families and our schools.
It is apparent that with digital transformation comes an inevitable cultural shift of how we interact with technology and the world around us. And accessible technology is at the forefront of empowering all aspects of our lives. Young or old, technologically savvy or just getting by, every single person benefits from accessible technology.
The conversation of Accessibility elicits passion-filled conversations and great excitement. And I was thrilled to take part in conversations, ideation, and questions all with the lens of empowering our workforce, our families and our communities.
I have four key take-aways from the conference and speaking on Accessibility:
1) Accessibility is a business imperative and a differentiator for employment
2) Accessibility accelerates digital transformation
3) Educating employees on accessible technology empowers everyone to work at their best
4) Accessible technology is changing how people interact with their world, how they see, think, hear and process the world around them.
At Microsoft we are not just talking about diversity and inclusion, it is a core business strategy and it was clear after walking away from this event that many of our customers are thinking the same way. Accessibility empowers every person to achieve more.
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