This week, every member of Microsoft France’s executive committee signed the #JamaisSansElles charter. By doing so, they showed their committed to promoting a more inclusive digital ecosystem by inviting women to represent the company in all of the events it takes part in.
This was the first time in France that the entire management team of a company has signed such an agreement – both individually and collectively. By agreeing to uphold the principles of the charter, the management team has set an example by supporting the greater representation of women at events inside the company, at public events outside the company, and in business meetings with customers and partners.
Female digital experts have their say thanks to the #JamaisSansElles charter
Women only account for 33% of the employees working in the digital ecosystem, compared with 53% across the full spectrum of employment. Therefore, it is now essential to heighten the representation of women in the digital sector, in order to set an example and to highlight the opportunities it has to offer them. This goal will be achieved by increasing the numbers of female speakers at events in the French digital ecosystem, including internal meetings, meetings with the media, marketing, and more
The #JamaisSansElles movement is striving to promote parity by engaging with men and women, mindful of the need to achieve a better balance and to increase the representation of women, and by inviting them to refrain from taking part in events, debates, expert panels or roundtables that do not provide sufficient representation.
“#JamaisSansElles is an inclusive movement rooted in the world of digital technology that currently enjoys the support of more than 200 leading figures from the world of economics and politics, all of them personally committed to encouraging the participation of women in public events,” explains Guy Mamou-Mani, Co-President of #JamaisSansElles.
“I am particularly proud to welcome the members of Microsoft France’s executive committee to our movement. It is important that the major stakeholders from the world of digital technology join us, and I hope that this example will inspire other leading groups. For #JamaisSansElles, the digital revolution must be humanist, and there can be no humanism without diversity,” adds Tatiana F-Salomon, Co-President of #JamaisSansElles.
By signing this charter, the members of Microsoft France’s management team have made an individual commitment, both inside and outside the company:
• All the internal events in which the members of the executive committee take part must include women among the speakers.
• The management team will decline any invitations to take part in external events, such as roundtables, expert panels or juries with at least three participants, that do not include any women. The promise also covers any public demonstrations or media events where subjects of common, societal, political, economic, scientific or strategic interest are debated, discussed or judged, if no women have been invited to participate.
Where appropriate, the member of the management team will propose a female employee to replace the male employee who was approached. Failing this, an alternative solution will be proposed to the organizers in agreement with #JamaisSansElles, which will call on its network to find a suitable speaker.
In cases of non-diversity that come to light at the last minute, the members of Microsoft France’s executive committee will inform the organizers and the audience that the situation runs contrary to their commitment.
• The charter that was signed today also applies to external business meetings with customers or partners involving at least three Microsoft employees. In these cases, at least one of the employees must be female.
In areas where women represent less than 15% of the personnel, the choice of speakers at corresponding events must always heighten the representation of women, and their participation must never be below the proportion of women working in the sector in question. Therefore, for example, the charter applies to events in the fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and quantum computing that are attended by five or more participants.
Long-term awareness-raising action is essential in these fields to restore the balance of 2.0 thinkers. By signing the #JamaisSansElles charter, Microsoft is calling on all its customers and partners to take action to reverse this trend and to halt the shift to a world “without women” (or “SansElles” in French).
“I take great pride in signing the #JamaisSansElles charter today with the rest of my team,” declared Carlo Purassanta, President of Microsoft France. “For everyone at Microsoft, diversity and inclusion are two key values for the development of an inclusive digital ecosystem that works for everyone. We are convinced that digital technology needs to be female-based too, and that we can reverse the trend and increase the representation and the role of women by taking concrete action. Together, by looking to our own rich diversity, we must imagine and create the technologies that will shape the future of the world.”
Microsoft has long been committed to promoting a more inclusive digital ecosystem
Signing the #JamaisSansElles charter is the latest example of Microsoft France’s long-standing commitment to speeding up the inclusion of women in employment in digital technology:
• The DigiGirlz program: an initiative to raise awareness of digital technology and employment in the digital ecosystem among female high school students in priority education networks that has reached out to 1,000 girls since 2015.
• The Microsoft AI school: 85% of jobs that will have to be filled in 2030 do not even exist today, which is the reason why, on March 6, 2018, Microsoft and its partner Simplon inaugurated an AI school for people who have poor prospects of finding employment. In the school’s first year, 30% of the students were women.
• Digital Women’s Day: Microsoft France partners Digital Women’s Day by promoting the opportunities that disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can offer women in France.
• The Femmes@numérique foundation: Microsoft France supports this initiative launched last June to encourage the development of women’s skills in the digital sector.