Saturday, October 31, 2020

Microsoft has announced a multiyear commitment to address racial injustice and inequity


Announced in a blog post by CEO Satya Nadella, the commitment is focused on three multiyear initiatives: increasing representation of people of color and a culture of inclusion at the company; extending a vision for social change throughout its business ecosystem; and using data, technology, and partnerships to improve the lives of black and African-American citizens.

Investments announced by Nadella include $150 million in support of the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts, with the goal of doubling the number of black and African-American managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders at the company by 2025. The tech giant also pledged to engage a broader business and supplier ecosystem and, to that end, will spend $500 million to double the number of its approved black- and African American-owned suppliers over the next three years; will expand its portfolio investment activity with black- and African American-owned banks and external managers; will create a $100 million fund targeting Minority Owned Depository Institutions (MDIs); and will establish a $50 million investment fund focused on supporting black- and African American-owned small businesses.

In addition, the company will commit $50 million over five years to expand and strengthen its existing justice reform initiative and strengthen computer science education in high schools primarily serving black and African-American students and at historically black colleges and universities. As part of a global upskilling initiative, the company also will provide $5 million in grant funding to community-based nonprofit organizations led by and serving communities of color in support of digital skills programs.

“Change begins by looking inward. We expect this change in ourselves. Employees expect this change from their leaders. Our customers and partners expect this change from Microsoft. And the world demands this change,” said Nadella. “This is not a one-time event. It will require real work and focus. We will listen and learn. We will take feedback and we will adjust. But it starts with each of us making a commitment to do the work, to help drive change, and to act with intention.”

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