Mutual empowerment through mentorship, sponsorship and allyship
Jenny Lay-Flurrie and Jacky Wright first met in 2012 while both were on a panel sponsored by the Women at Microsoft employee resource group (ERG). The connection was instant. Both Brits had moved to the U.S. to work with Microsoft – Jacky had just joined Microsoft as the vice president of IT Strategic Services, while Jenny had already been with Microsoft since 2006 and was moving into a new role with a dedicated focus on driving accessibility.
“After sharing the stage with Jacky, I remember my overwhelming thought was, ‘Oh, I need to spend more time with her!’” Jenny said. She said learning that Jenny – who is profoundly deaf but hadn’t shared the full extent of her deafness on joining the company – helped her realize the untapped potential of those in her teams who also may not feel comfortable raising the fact that they have a disability. “Gaining that insight helped me focus on how to help individuals be their authentic selves, across various identities,” said Jacky.
When we first met, I was chair of the Disability ERG, just beginning my journey to move into accessibility as my full-time role. I had a large bucket full of challenges and opportunities to meet the needs of customers and employees, she explained.
Apr 01, 2021 at 16:31