The Microsoft Biz Apps for Women community continues to grow in Asia Pacific – pandemic or not.
Originally launched two years ago in Australia's largest city, The Sydney Microsoft Business Applications Women Meetup has since grown to more than 300 members across multiple locations. Inspired by these efforts, The ASEAN Microsoft BizApps UG Women in Tech event launched in June to further support women in the region.
BizApps MVP and Sydney group organizer Olena Grischenko said she wanted to create a safe place for women to grow and openly discuss ideas. “I wanted to see more women actively engaged in the community and started with myself. I wanted to see more women being recognised for the work they do and simply more women connected and visible in the space,” Olena said.
The purpose of the community is to empower, promote, and support women involved with Microsoft Business Applications to speak at conferences and other events. They also run study groups to help people to prepare for certifications.
The group – whose committee includes Linda Do (Microsoft Product Marketing Manager), Abby (Mi) Kong (Dynamics 365 Applications Specialist), Gill Walker (Founder and Managing Director at Opsis), Karen Scott Davie (Microsoft MTC and Senior Consultant), and Katherine Woods (Dynamics 365 Consultant) – has since expanded to Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand.
Further, the group recently enjoyed being only one of four community groups invited to set up a booth at Microsoft Ignite in February.
Usually, the group can be found on the first Thursday of every month at the Microsoft Reactor in Sydney. The monthly meetup, however, has recently been using Office 365 and Microsoft Teams to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Recent virtual topics covered by the group include “The Seven Deadly Sins of Dynamics 365 Training” and “Tactics to Surviving Corona Disruptions and Staying Connected.”
“Although we miss our live events, I have to admit there are some good things which happened to us, too,” Olena said. “The most important thing is that we got closer to our New Zealand peers. We share the audience and actively interact with each other, especially on the leadership level.”
Supporting and promoting Asian Pacific Women in BizApps grew even further thanks to the efforts of another group in Singapore. Manonmani VS, Geetha Chockalingam, and Jeevarajan Kumar – in conjunction with Panjaporn Vittayalerdpun from Microsoft and other ASEAN BizApps UG leads – organized the ASEAN Microsoft BizApps UG Women in Tech event on June 13 to empower all women in the ecosystem to effectively use the platform for a better tomorrow.
More than 180 participated in this Women in Tech event via Microsoft Teams and learnt practical information of Power Platform and Dynamics 365, career stories of women in leadership, and use cases.
Coorganizer and MVP Jeevarajan said the team wanted to inspire and encourage all women interested in BizApps to be “part of us, ride, and rise with us.”
“There has been much less participation from women in all past community meetups. This meetup had more new women participants and all women speakers highlighted their journey – which inspired not only women but also men to know more about the platform and other Microsoft initiatives around this platform,” Jeevarajan said.
Eleven women speakers including 4 MVPs and 4 MSFTs spoke on a variety of topics with regional relevance. For example, New Zealand MVP Elaiza Benitez presented on “Tackling an NZ use case with AI Builder Forms Processing”. Moreover, Australian MVP Ee Lane Yu spoke about building trivia using “PVA Bot, Adaptive Cards and Teams”, Indian MVP Roohi Shaikh delved into moving Power Apps Biz Logic to the Cloud for better results, and Sri Lankan MVP for Microsoft Azure Hansamali Gamage demonstrated how to create a payment reminder using Power Apps, Excel, and Azure Functions.
Hansamali said she was excited to take part in an event which focused on inspiring women to improve their day-to-day work. “Since it's all about women speakers, I was very thrilled to be part of it,” she said.
Check out the Microsoft User Group Singapore YouTube channel to see presentations from the day. For more information on the Sydney Microsoft Business Applications Women community, visit their Meetup page.
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