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Women in Dynamics strengthens plans for Directions EMEA 2023 and beyond

by Jason Gumpert
October 23 2023
Women in Dynamics leadership team: Carme Cortada, Vicky Critchley, and Leen Everaerts

Leaders of Women in Dynamics have been working in 2023 to strengthen the group's advocacy for workforce diversity and the inclusion and empowerment of women in the Microsoft Business Applications channel.

The group's data-driven approach has already given the ecosystem a range of challenges to grapple with like the current low rates of women in executive roles, a dearth of promotions for women and younger workers, and the lack of female directors.

The group is now working toward formal nonprofit recognition and they plan to build on recent successes like the launch of a new advocacy framework and recent conference activities both in North America and Europe as they look ahead to Directions EMEA 2023 next week. Organizers spoke to MSDW about their event plans and how they hope to encourage more companies to take clear steps toward fair work and career opportunities.  

A new framework

In the spring, the team organized a lunch event during the Directions North America 2023 partner conference where group organizers and supporters presented their new framework, which aims to both gather better data on hiring and promotions and support employer policies that support diverse professional teams. The initiative, known by the acronym THIS, calls for Microsoft partners to embrace a range of specific goals.

"The T, tracking, will remain the baseline," explained Women in Dynamics co-founder and Microsoft channel marketer Leen Everaerts. "That's important, but to support partners with some practical tips on how they can get started to create that change from within their own organization, we launched the THIS-framework, with its four pillars:

  • T: Track
  • H: Hire diverse Talent
  • I: Immerse inclusivity
  • S: Stop the dropout.”
Women in Dynamics team meeting event attendees

Data gathering from Microsoft partners will power the group's advocacy, says Carme Cortada, CEO of Microsoft partner Triangle and a co-founder of Women in Dynamics. "When asking for data, we ask for activities that get results," she said. "Out of all the activities we propose, which are yielding results?”

At Directions North America 2023, for example, representatives from various companies shared examples of steps they have already taken that align with Women in Dynamics priorities. A Microsoft representative showed some of the company’s internal tracking metrics around hiring of people from different backgrounds and monitoring of changes to those levels over time. Other Microsoft partners shared tactics like:

  • Updating job descriptions to encourage more diverse applicants
  • Training hiring managers on the company's commitment to diversity in hiring
  • Tracking candidate rations
  • Building new recruitment channels
  • Making the value of diversity a part of the brand
  • Creating an executive-sponsored DEI council to define mission and host events
  • Establish and document meeting guidelines to improve inclusivity
  • Supporting flexible work hours and family commitments

"It was really overwhelming to see how the American market also embraced the idea of diversity and inclusivity," says Cortada. "And we are still European girls, so it's a different ballgame. It's a different way of thinking for some things, but also not so different because the openness and the way the American community embraced us was really nice."

Women in Dynamics is going to Lyon

The Women in Dynamics leadership team will be at Directions EMEA, which takes place in Lyon from November 1 to 3, advocating for more companies in the Dynamics channel to embrace the values of the framework. See their full plan for Directions EMEA here. Everaerts told MSDW:

We’re proud to announce that Women in Dynamics is going to be part of Directions EMEA once again and we can't wait to meet you there! With about 3,000 Dynamics professionals there, representing more than 900 partners from 70 countries, this is a prime opportunity to launch our THIS framework in Europe! We will have a segment in one of the Directions EMEA 2023 conference's keynote sessions as well as a dedicated session (Women in Dynamics: a session for guys' by Søren Alexandersen and Steve Brooks) and you can find us in the reception area to pick up your Women in Dynamics swag, or just to come and say hi. The group will also be hosting pre-party drinks to launch our THIS framework in Europe. Everyone is welcome – regardless of gender -  on Wednesday, November 1st, from 19:00 to 20:30 at 'Hall d'Accueil Terreaux' within the Directions EMEA conference center in Lyon. No registration needed.

Broader engagement

Women in Dynamics team meeting event attendees

With their roots in Western Europe and a new baseline of engagement in North America, the group will be looking for ways to broaden engagement among Microsoft partners, though still within certain parameters.

"We want to make sure that VARs, ISVs, and partners that are between twenty and a thousand employees max, can all benefit from the framework," says Cortada. "So we didn't go for something that Microsoft would benefit from, or bigger consultancies that are also in our space. We try to keep it relatable with things that medium and small companies can implement because I think that's where the change can happen in our space."

"I think after awareness, what is left for us to do is to connect these companies that are being successful at implementing and making change and sharing it with the rest of the community," she added.

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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