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M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund partners with Women in Cloud on #empowHERaccess initiative
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1888PressRelease - M12- Microsoft’s Venture Fund, today announced the extension of partnership with Women in Cloud, an economic development organization advancing gender inclusion in technology.

Redmond, Washington:

M12- Microsoft’s Venture Fund, today announced the extension of partnership with Women in Cloud, an economic development organization advancing gender inclusion in technology. The partnership enables the #empowHERaccess initiative, an annual digital advocacy campaign to accelerate economic access for women. This year, the campaign celebrates stories of pivots and perseverance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.2 million women are unemployed globally as a result of the pandemic. A report from Kaspersky published in January found that roughly half of the 6,500 women surveyed believe the pandemic has hurt them professionally. The #empowHERaccess campaign seeks to raise awareness of the outsized impact of COVID-19 on women, promote stories of women’s professional resilience—especially in technology entrepreneurship—and accelerate economic recovery.

There are four pillars to the #empowHERaccess campaign:
• A COVID-19 impact report measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women technology entrepreneurs globally
• The #empowHERaccess Awards, recognizing the work of individuals to provide stability and opportunity to women in technology over the course of the pandemic
• Champion spotlights, a digital celebration of mentors, advisors, executives, influencers, and entrepreneurs increasing economic access in tech
• A collective action pledge for leading global companies to commit to unlocking opportunity through procurement and investment vehicles

Women in Cloud is developing the next generation of women entrepreneurs and leaders to advance gender parity in cloud computing and the technology industry at large. M12 is committed to a more inclusive VC and startup ecosystem, and has twice hosted the Female Founders Competition, in addition to partnership efforts with Women in Cloud, All Raise, and Project W. Beyond the #emplowHERaccess initiative, M12 team members will support Women in Cloud pitch competitions and connect with women B2B SaaS founders early in their company lifecycle. M12 portfolio companies will have access to promotional opportunities for their technology on the Women in Cloud Solution Marketplace and customer introductions via the Women in Cloud Fortune 100 Lunch & Learn Series.

“We’re thrilled to continue our work with Women in Cloud, and expand our collaboration to the #empowHERaccess initiative,” said M12 General Manager and Managing Director Tamara Steffens. “Women in Cloud has consistently supported women founders building enterprise technology solutions with their cloud accelerator. This partnership will provide new opportunities for our team to connect with and support those incredible female founders.”

“We’re thankful for M12’s consistent support over the past several years and are excited to launch a great collaboration with the #empowHERaccess advocacy campaign,” said Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-founder and President, Women in Cloud. “We have big plans to meaningfully move the needle on economic access for women in technology, and I’m looking forward to our continued partnership.”

About Women in Cloud
Women in Cloud is a community-led economic development organization taking action to generate $1B in net new global economic access for women entrepreneurs by 2030 through partnerships with corporations, community leaders, and policymakers. Women in Cloud is built on the following core values; Inclusion, Collective Action, and Economic Access to help contribute to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. For further information visit 

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