To ensure innovation continues, women must be part of the conversation and ecosystem.

By Alysa Taylor (General Manager, Microsoft)

Microsoft is passionate as a company about diversity and bridging the gender gap. We’re consistently named as a “top 50 Employer” for women and minorities because we celebrate women at Microsoft.

Now, we want to take this passion outside and help bridge the gender gap for others. I am personally excited to partner with Women 2.0 in Seattle, to provide mentorship and network opportunities for female tech founders.

According to the National Women’s Business Council, women businesses grew 44% from 1997 to 2007, twice as fast as male-owned companies. By 2018, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the US. Only 29% of those jobs will be filled by women, even though women make up more than 50% of college graduates. We’re committed to supporting and celebrating women entrepreneurs.

Recently, we launched the exhibit “From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women” in partnership with National Women’s History Museum to celebrate women entrepreneurs. To ensure innovation continues, women must be part of the conversation and ecosystem.

Microsoft was founded on the belief that putting technology in the hands of individuals could enrich and improve their lives, and we’ve invested heavily in improving access to technology. We strive to remove barriers for entrepreneurs through programs like BizSpark.

I look forward to working with Women 2.0 and female founders in the Seattle startup community, to serve the broader communities where we live and work.

alysaAbout the guest blogger: Alysa Taylor is the General Manager of Microsoft US – Marketing & Operations for Developer Plarform Evangelism.