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Digital is an opportunity for Diversity (gender first but not only)!

Microsoft France Diversity team recently organized an innovative event dedicated to Digital & Diversity!

The goal of this event was to demonstrate to our customers and partners how transformation to digital will bring women back to careers by providing innovative workplace environments and behaviours where work/life balance can be achieved without compromises.

The tone was set to look positively at the topic of the opportunity that digitalization brings to help improve diversity (gender particularly) in the workplace, and stop complaining about metrics and lack of progress. The way the subject was treated was really attractive and brought a brand new outlook, starting with a new market research on the contents of women’s handbags J

The research involved 35 women over 5 countries opening their handbag, exposing and explaining the reasons, often personal, for each object’s presence. From this “Handbag Study”  4 emotional profiles were derived and related to is segmentation, 4 innovative trends to implement.

Following this unusual research presentation (lively and very relevant to the audience),a “saynète” has been played showing how Digital Apps can help replace most of the usages that the content of a woman’s handbag provides, with fewer HW companions : a Windows Phone and Surface Tablet and all the appropriate Apps for each need. Again, this was done in a theatre-style way, with real life examples from her daily experience and showing the evolution of their handbag’s content on stage. Effectively evolving from a physical to a “digital handbag”.

A practical way to show how Digital can support better WLB, agility and productivity.

Finally, a photograph exhibition of French “Women in Digital” was presented by the photographer (also a French high tech influencer) to help promote role-models for other women or girls looking to work in Digital. An artistic encouragement that shows the diversity of roles and often senior positions that women hold today in France. The physical exhibition is on loan in different locations and also exists online  and the author (Olivier Ezratty) is now keen to expand the collection internationally. Contact details on the website.

All in all, 3 innovative angles to look at the bright side of Diversity and how Digital evolves the landscape.

Who was in the audience & next steps

Over 300 customers and partners among which CMO, Digital, Communication and HR leads but also CFOs and CEOs came to the conference in our offices. The key message  was very well received : “Digital is an opportunity for Diversity” and since then several discussions around how to leverage digitalization to address diversity issues have been engaged with participants, in turn leading to technology adoption and business opportunities.

How to leverage?

This is still recent, but given the success more similarly-unusual events are being considered (“what’s in your car’s glove box” for example).

If you would like to leverage this kind of event to engage discussions with your customers, partners or in your  organization, contact me.

Enjoy  this YouTube teaser : (launch and then hit “activate subtitles” button)



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