Published 2 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
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The companies have launched a variety of new tools and services aimed at fostering a more inclusive tech workforce in the US, with a specific focus on women and underrepresented minorities.
Microsoft and LinkedIn have launched Career Connector — a service that aims to build on the success of the companies' global skills
last summer, which the companies say provided 30.7 million people
with free digital skills training during the pandemic.
According to Microsoft President Brad Smith, this new initiative expands the
companies’ work and vision in this area, and commits Microsoft and LinkedIn to a
new promise to help 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021 — while fostering a more inclusive tech workforce in the US, with a specific focus on women and underrepresented minorities.
With this work, Microsoft and LinkedIn join a growing number of companies — including Apple, Starbucks, EVERFI, Mastercard and Visa, to name a few — that have directed much-needed resources to education, finance and job placement for women and communities of color, with the goal of creating a more equitable workforce in the US post-pandemic.
From laid-off factory workers to retail associates and truck drivers, Microsoft
millions of people turned to online learning courses from GitHub, LinkedIn
and Microsoft during the pandemic last year to help prepare for and land the
most in-demand roles — including customer service, project management and data
analysis. The new Career Connector program builds on Microsoft’s efforts to help
the people hardest hit by the pandemic — namely, women and minorities — by
extending free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost
certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs, through 2021. The
next stage of the initiative sets a new foundation for a skills-based economy
through a suite of new tools designed to connect skilled job seekers with
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As Smith shared in a blog
“We are doubling down at LinkedIn and across Microsoft with new work to support
a more inclusive, skills-based labor market — creating more alternatives,
greater flexibility and accessible learning paths that connect these more
readily with new jobs. And we’re strengthening our work in Microsoft
Philanthropies to advance digital equity through nonprofit partnerships that
serve those hit the hardest by the COVID-19 downturn.”
As Smith goes on to explain in the post, Microsoft decided last summer to make
digital equity a special focus of its global skills initiative: “We based this
on a recognition that the biggest brunt of the COVID-19 downturn is being borne
by those with lower educational attainment, people with disabilities, racial
women, younger workers and individuals who have less formal education. We were
especially persuaded by the insights offered by Black Lives
created a special focus on Black and African Americans in the United States.”
To that end, Microsoft Philanthropies invested $20 million in grants to
nonprofits around the world to help people from underserved communities that are
often excluded by the digital economy — including $5 million in grants to 50
Black and African-American-led and -serving digital skilling and workforce
in the US. The tech giant also partnered with nonprofits around the world such
reach underserved learners.
For its part, LinkedIn is working to provide both new ways for job seekers to
demonstrate their skills and new tools for employers to connect to candidates
based on their skill proficiencies, including a feature called LinkedIn Skills
tool to help recruiters source candidates in a more equitable way — based on
their proven skills. LinkedIn is piloting Skills Path with over a dozen
companies — including
Citrix, Gap, Ralph Lauren, TaskRabbit and Wayfair — that
have committed to broadening their hiring practices to better include candidates
with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Microsoft also has an eye toward equipping the next generation of workers,
supplementing LinkedIn’s work to promote far-reaching digital skills
opportunities, including Career Coach — a Microsoft Teams for Education app
powered by LinkedIn that provides personalized guidance for higher education
students to navigate their career journey. The app helps students discover their
goals, interests and skills using an AI-based skills identifier and LinkedIn
integration that aligns a student’s comprehensive profile with job market
trends; and helps them grow real-world skills and connect with mentors and
peers, all in one place.
“For a long time, the way people got hired was based solely on the job they had,
the degree they earned or the people they knew. That’s starting to change,” said
LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky. “Workers are now better understanding and
articulating the skills they have and the skills they need, while businesses are
looking not just at those familiar credentials but also at the skills that
workers from often-overlooked communities have to get the job done. We want to
help accelerate that change.”
Learn more about Microsoft’s and LinkedIn’s efforts to enable an equitable COVID
recovery and skills market
Published Apr 6, 2021 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST