Who cares about Diversity? Seems quite a lot of people…

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IAMCP UK's new President, Julie Simpson, talks about the latest IAMCP roundtable with Microsoft: 

Just four short days after I took over from Dan Scarfe as President of IAMCP UK it was my absolute pleasure to host a session with the amazing Clare Barclay, GM of SMS & P, and Glenn Woolaghan Partner Business & Development Lead and PDU Lead – both from Microsoft UK. Thank you both.

What a session!

First of all – it was incredible to see so many IAMCP UK Microsoft partner members turn out on a foggy morning for this. Really brought it home that this whole Diversity thing is getting super-serious for all of us now, for so many reasons.
Such as…. I hear you ask?

From concerns about working on an old (but still very much alive) Microsoft platform (Great Plains) and the challenges with an ageing workforce (absolutely no offence all you GP programmers out there), to succession planning to encourage more women into leadership positions, to attracting young people and effectively managing apprenticeship programmes, accommodating people from different cultures, how the whole digital transformation move will erode jobs available to women by five times as much as men in the not too distant future, right up to the general awareness that existing about Diversity and the general ‘fear’ on how to even talk about it.

Well, as we went around the table asking each partner why they were there, the variety of responses and different levels of focus was astounding.

We all understand that to thrive in our businesses we need to attract and retain a diverse workforce that can contribute to our propositions, our business strategy our customer service and communication – right across the board.  Without diversity we all agreed our organisations are under threat from advancement and opportunity – which will ultimately affect profitability.

Four trends bubbled to the top of all our discussions:  Culture, Leadership, Flexibility and Youth.

But with my continued rhetoric of ‘what are we going to do about it’? How on earth do we pull together an IAMCP/Microsoft UK Partner Diversity Programme that gives partners the knowledge, insights and ideas to drive this important agenda and keep it real and aligned to business value?

All attendees committed to being part of our new IAMCP/Microsoft UK Diversity Steering Group.  Together we will meet quarterly to share our own initiatives and insights and work to produce tangible, workable content that can really help partners. This all starts with our next working session in March where Microsoft will share its strategy and initiatives followed by us breaking out into working teams to thrash through individual partner challenges and come up with solutions.

Such a great result – and who could ever want for more when the group attending, asked that the session be extended to a half-day to really make it count!

Guess it’s important.

If you are a Microsoft partner serious about your business growth and development, and not yet a member of IAMCP UK, you are missing out.  Join us.