Microsoft Korea announced that it would expand people with disabilities (PWD) job opportunities as part of its Microsoft Enabler Program. Currently, 15% of the world population, or more than one billion people, experience some form of disability. Accordingly, Microsoft believes that PWDs could help improve social conditions if they extensively partake in economic activities. In particular, PWDs could boost the working-age population and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 7%.
In September 2020, the company launched the Microsoft Enabler Program, which provides disability-inclusive work environments across the Asia-Pacific region. Companies who joined the program would receive tutoring from non-profit organizations (NPO) to adopt inclusivity values as employers. In return, the companies and the NPOs would offer PWDs internships, mentoring, on-the-job learning, and tech-related employment openings.
Furthermore, the program provides assistive technology implementations, technical consulting sessions, and industry-essential education, especially artificial intelligence and cloud training. In addition to these opportunities, the tech giant offered lessons on Microsoft products and services, including Azure and Teams. Microsoft also specifically designed the program to enable all members to lay the foundations for a more inclusive future.
Supporting PWDs and Partners in South Korea
Six Asia-Pacific countries currently support the Microsoft Enabler Program, including South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Moreover, the program’s hiring partners produce employment for PWDs, while NPO partners share advice to employers regarding PWD hiring.
“For all organizations in the future, digital skills will become the basis for economic recovery, and diversity and inclusion will become essential elements for growth,” said Lee Ji-Eun, CEO of Microsoft Korea. Lee also shared that one of Microsoft’s primary missions is to incorporate the values above into its operations. To this end, the company would actively use its existing technologies to establish and promote workplaces where people can openly realize their potentials and employ their capabilities.
In South Korea, Microsoft’s hiring partners include the cloud consulting company Cloocus and the IT service firm Metanet. On the other hand, the NPO partners include the youth organization JA Korea and KODAF (Korea Differently Abled Federation). KEAD (Korea Employment Agency for Persons with Disabilities) also joined the program as an NPO partner.
KODAF President Choi Gong-Yeol said that although job opportunities shrunk due to the pandemic, KODAF would continue revitalizing PWD employment. According to Yeo Moon-Hwan, JA Korea’s Secretary-General, the Microsoft Enabler Program effectively provides PWDs an ample opportunity to grow as a society member. In April, Microsoft Korea offered free digital skills education through the Global Skills Initiative, significantly helping South Korean job seekers.
Check out other must-read articles from KoreaTechToday:
- Microsoft Korea Supports Tech Startups with ‘Microsoft for Startups’
- Microsoft Offers Free Digital Education Through ‘Global Skills Initiative’
- KT, KAIST to develop ICT-Based Care Solutions for Vulnerable Groups
- NCSoft Becomes First Gaming Company to Employ ESG Strategies