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Inclusive Hiring Programs, Corporate Digital Responsibility at Microsoft

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Autism Program, Supported Employment, and disAbility Hiring the three programmes Microsoft developed to ensure the employability of disabled people into its workforce, discussed during CSR Europe workshop “Making the Business Case for Responsible Digitalisation of Work.

The ever-increasing pace of technological change is forcing business to rethink traditional corporate social responsibility practices to include digitalisation, data, and automation & artificial intelligence (AI). Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) is the compass that can help businesses to navigate the risks and opportunities inherited in these new technologies.

Microsoft tackled the issue together with other companies at the CSR Europe Future of Work Workshop on “Making the Business Case for Responsible Digitalisation of Work”, hosted on 26th March 2019. We discovered how CDR can benefit a business because it does not merely serve as a consumer protection tool, but also to drive employee engagement. “When we looked at CDR we had to look back at our mission, to what Microsoft stands for: empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”, stated Susanna Mäkelä, Sr Director Government Affairs at Microsoft EU office. Out of this exercise the tech giant focussed on diversity and inclusion and re-oriented its recruiting and career development strategy to increase the percentage of employees with disabilities. The result? The launch of three Inclusive Hiring Programs: Autism Program; Supported Employment; and disAbility Hiring.

While any role at Microsoft is a potential option for the Autism Program , successful hiring steered towards technical roles such as Software Engineer, Service Engineer, Build Engineer, Lab Engineer, Data Analyst or Data Scientist. After completing an initial technical skills assignment, qualified candidates are invited to spend one week at the Microsoft Redmond campus, in Seattle, to test their workability and skills match for their role.

Supported Employment dedicated to creating job opportunities for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) at Microsoft facilities across the globe. To reach the goal, the company partnered up with vendors and local employment agencies. As a result, workers with I/DD fitted over 30 different job types, spanning from laboratory technician to groundskeeper.

disAbility Hiring includes ability hiring events, inclusive Interviews, disability education and etiquette team trainings, and centralized accommodation to include people with disabilities in the workforce.


On 14th May 2018, CSR Europe will be organising, a webinar “Towards sustainable workforce transitions”. With the participation of Lisa Neddam, Digital Skills Platform Leader at IBM, and Heli Harrikari, Director of Continuous Learning at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, CSR Europe will focus on forecasting future professions; ensuring training and development for all; and fostering functional mobility.


Contact Person:

Tommi Raivio

Project Manager