Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella writes email to employees, donates $1.5 million to Black Live Matter foundation and others

    Nadella already issued a public statement on the matter in May but this time has pledged a donation of $1.5 million in total.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Jun 07 2020, 09:17 IST
    Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella
    Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella (Microsoft)
    Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella
    Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella (Microsoft)

    Other hand covid-19, what has gripped the news headlines since past few days is the George Floyd case and the racism that is happening in certain parts of the world. While the communities and government authorities were the ones reacting for now, the wave has hit the tech market space as well. We have seen Twitter making efforts to hide and remove racist remarks from its platform and Reddit CEO asking to be replaced by a Black member on the board. This time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has talked about it in an emailed letter to employees (via Thurrot.com).

    Nadella already issued a public statement on the matter in May but this time has pledged a donation of $1.5 million in total to organisations like Black Lives Matter Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project, The Leadership Conference, Minnesota Freedom Fund and NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. The CEO also mentioned that Micorosoft has donated more than $15 million to civil rights, social action, and advocacy nonprofit organizations since 2015.

    In the email to employees, Nadella added that going forward, there will be more diversity and inclusiveness in the country. “We created our Supplier Diversity program 15 years ago, so our supplier companies better reflected the diversity of our customers. Today, it makes up nearly 10 percent of our supplier spend. That spend has an amplifying effect, growing the local economies in the communities where those businesses are located. We need to keep building on this work in every community we operate in.”

    In the public statement made on May 28th, Nadella talked about the company's efforts to improve the diversity and its take on racism happening around the world. He also talks about empathy. “Thanks, everyone, for joining today. I want to start by talking about an issue that is important to all of us and is impacting and hurting many amongst us, very directly, and very severely. I also know that the every-day racism, bias and hatred in the news today is not new, and it's far too often the experience and reality in daily lives, particularly for the Black and African American community,” started Nadella in his letter.

    He also talked about how everyone, when working together on a cause, can make a difference. “We can't do it alone. I'm grounded in that, I realize that, but together I think we can, and we will drive change.” He added that “Have empathy for those who are scared and uncertain, and join me and everyone on the senior leadership team, in advocating for change in our company, in our communities, and in society at large.”

    Satya Nadella's email to employees:

    Seeing injustice in the world calls us all to take action, as individuals and as a company. Sometimes this action is personal – what do I do to change? Sometimes it is organizational – what changes do I need to make around me? And sometimes it is reflected into the world – what can we do as a company to accelerate the change we desire? As we see the everyday racism, bias and violence experienced by the Black and African American community, the tragic and horrific murders of so many, the violence in cities across the US, it is time for us to act in all arenas. As I shared in our Employee Town Hall last week, each of us – starting with me and the senior leaders at the company – has a role to play. We cannot episodically wake up when a new tragedy occurs. A systemic problem requires a holistic response.

    I am heartbroken by the deep pain our communities are feeling. The results of systemic racism, which have impacted opportunities and exacerbated injustices for Black and African American communities, urge me to consider my own role as a leader. I must continue my journey of understanding and empathy and examine actions I take, or don't take, every day. Listening and learning from my Black and African American colleagues is helping me develop a better understanding of their experience. And I take accountability for my own continued learning on the realities of privilege, inequity and race and modeling the behavior I want to see in the world.

    As a company, we need to look inside, examine our organization, and do better. For us to have the permission to ask the world to change, we must change first. We have to embrace the same speed and mindset that we do in anticipating and building for future technological shifts. Each day, we work to bridge the gap between the culture we espouse and our daily lived experience, but we must do more and do it faster. In order to be successful as a business in empowering everyone on the planet, we need to reflect the world we serve. This is our commitment; we have goals and programs to improve representation in all roles and at all levels. We're investing in the talent pipeline broadly, as we've expanded our connections with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We also have to create an environment where all voices are heard and valued, that's why inclusion is a core priority for each one of us. I ask each of us to recommit to our shared D&I priority, participate in our inclusion learning programs, use the tools and resources we have shared on becoming an effective ally for others. We have the capabilities to make Microsoft more diverse and inclusive, but we must do the work.

    We also have a responsibility to use our platform and resources intentionally to address systemic inequities in our communities and in society broadly. This is the work we need to do to have lasting impact. For example, we're using our technology and our voice toward a more equitable criminal justice system with our Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. We created our Supplier Diversity program 15 years ago, so our supplier companies better reflected the diversity of our customers. Today, it makes up nearly 10 percent of our supplier spend. That spend has an amplifying effect, growing the local economies in the communities where those businesses are located. We need to keep building on this work in every community we operate in.

    Finally, we must carry our company values out into the world in a way that reflects our strengths and expertise. To this end, we will deepen our engagement with six organizations that are advancing social justice, helping community organizers address racial inequality, and offering solidarity to the Black community: Black Lives Matter Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project, The Leadership Conference, Minnesota Freedom Fund, and NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. This starts with a company donation of $250,000 to each of these organizations ($1.5 million in total), followed by a company match of our employees' contributions to eligible organizations. Together, through your giving and the company match, we have donated more than $15 million to civil rights, social action, and advocacy nonprofit organizations since 2015.

    I have heard from many employees over the past several days, expressing calls for action, calls for reflection, calls for change. My response to all of you is this: Yes. We have to act. And our actions must reflect the values of our company and be directly informed by the needs of the Black and African American community. We must continue to nurture the energy and passion that the Blacks at Microsoft employee resource group fueled in all of us since its founding in 1989. We have been on a cultural transformation journey and must accelerate our pace of change. Each of us, starting with me, must look at where we are as individuals, confront our fixed mindset[,] and act. Our humanity is what calls out to us to make the world a better place.

    We all have a role to play. I will do the work. The company will do the work. I am asking each of you to do the work. And together, we will help make the difference we want to see in the world.

    Satya.

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    First Published Date: 07 Jun, 09:16 IST
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