Microsoft for Startups celebrates female founders on International Women’s Day 2020

It’s more than 100 years since the first International Women’s Day saw women demonstrating in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. They marched against discrimination and for equality, which in those days was as fundamental as demanding equal suffrage.

The theme chosen for International Women’s Day 2020 eerily echoes those demands from a century ago. I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights is a powerful message when coupled with the sobering reality that “the proportion of women in managerial positions remains around 27 per cent, even as more women graduate from universities.”

Gender Equality is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Microsoft is committed to many of these goals in the work we do. For example our recently announced plan to be carbon negative by 2030 builds to Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy) and Goal 13 (climate action). We value diversity in our workforce and our ecosystem. Diversity is more than gender, but it is an important dimension where Microsoft can clearly play a role to building equity.

At Microsoft, and in the Microsoft for Startups program, the themes of #generationequality and #genderequality are absolutely part of our guiding principles. In previous years, Microsoft has doubled down on its commitment to raising women up around the world, investing in STEM education in Asia and highlighting the value of gender parity in the workplace.

This year, Microsoft for Startups recommits itself to working with female entrepreneurs and helping them scale the astonishing companies they found across the widest range of verticals. Microsoft for Startups will continue to champion women in tech as they move from seed funding to building out their teams to taking their products to the global marketplace. Microsoft for Startups will carry on its mission to unlock value for companies led by women with tactical help through Azure credits and GitHub licenses, as well as business benefits such as mentoring, introductions, and selling their products into existing Microsoft enterprise customers.

To mark International Women’s Day 2020, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality, Microsoft will be featuring some exceptional, female-founded companies on the homepages for Azure Marketplace and AppSource, including Acceptto, Vision Platform, Automaton, Acerta Analytics and others.

Throughout the year Microsoft for Startups will continue to provide a platform for female founders to speak to and be heard by our tremendous community of CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, investors and Startups program alumni like this, this, and this.

Happy International Women’s Day to all of us. We’re only just getting started!