Blacks

Employee Resource Group

We play a key role in promoting career and leadership development among our members, and recruiting the best and the brightest to Microsoft.

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Interesting Facts

  • Founded in 1989 as the first Microsoft-sponsored employee affinity group.
  • Consists of more than 800 employee members worldwide.
  • Maintains chapters at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, as well as in Las Colinas, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; New York, New York; Brazil; New England; and Atlanta, Georgia.
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Who we are

The Blacks Employee Resource Group (ERG) is an affinity group created by the partnership of two Employee Networks (EN) — Africans at Microsoft and Blacks at Microsoft — to advance Microsoft’s global diversity strategy. While each EN maintains its unique focus and initiatives, our collaboration is dedicated to the interests of employees who self-identify as Black, African, African-American, West Indian, or of African descent.

We are committed to actively contributing to the growth and development of local and international communities, with a particular focus on educating youth and exposing them to emerging technologies and career opportunities in the technology industry. We also support technology initiatives that advance African prospects.

Areas of focus

  • Community

  • Strategy

Encouraging career development

  • Diversity initiatives. The Blacks ERG partners with Microsoft executive leadership teams to define and implement corporate diversity initiatives companywide and provides consulting for the product development groups.
  • Career speaker series. Experts and senior leaders across the company share their career experience and principles with members, inspiring them to excel in their jobs and careers.
  • Employee mentoring program. The Blacks ERG coordinates a formal mentoring program that matches newer employees with more senior members in similar jobs and business functions. The goal of the program is to provide support and advice to new employees.
  • College intern mentoring program. The goal of this program is to provide professional mentoring and social activities for students who self-identify as Black, African-American, African, or West Indian and are participating in the Microsoft college internship program. Many of these students travel thousands of miles to work at Microsoft during the summer, and they value the support systems and relationships they establish with the Blacks ERG members.

Promoting cultural diversity and community

The Blacks ERG celebrates diversity and community by working to promote African heritage and culture through participation in Microsoft's diversity initiatives and events, as well as by coordinating with other organizations to connect and expose business potential.

BAM Minority Student Day (BMSD). The Blacks at Microsoft EN hosts an annual student day every February. The goal of the event, which was first held in 1992, is to provide local area high school students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds with information about the tools, resources, and career opportunities that are available to them in information technology. Throughout the day, Microsoft employees guide students through hands-on technology labs and information sessions. Employees also serve as mentors, talking with students about the wide variety of career opportunities available to them in technology.

BAM Scholarship Program. This program provides scholarships to high school seniors and connects recipients with members who mentor them throughout their college careers. The program has been successful in helping graduates find employment at Microsoft.

Supporting Microsoft’s global diversity strategy

The Blacks ERG supports Microsoft's global diversity strategy, focusing on advancing the efforts around representation, inclusion, and market innovation. The ERG works to:

  • Support the Middle East and Africa Knowledge and Networking initiative and Microsoft’s African subsidiaries in their efforts to develop and implement visionary information and communications technology strategies.
  • Participate in bottom-up grass roots initiatives that support information and communications technology development related to: infrastructure, human capacity, responsible public e-awareness policy, global partnership, content, and applications software.
  • Establish a business forum for elevating technical business solutions that directly address unique challenges in Africa.
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