Leading companies join the CEO’s pledge to help bridge the digital divide in underserved societies

Posted by Kevin Bisker, President of Microsoft Canada

The pandemic has widened Canada’s digital divide, and disadvantaged communities have suffered the most. With the post-pandemic economic recovery approaching, we must prepare for it in a way that helps all citizens. It is imperative that everyone has access to safe, reliable, and connected devices to work, learn, and gain the skills needed in today’s economy. This requires new initiatives and greater cooperation between the public and private sectors: no government or sector can solve this challenge alone.

To help build a more inclusive recovery, Microsoft Canada launched its CEO’s pledge, working with Computers for Excellence Canada, to help bridge the digital skills gap by providing devices to people in underserved communities. Organizations that abide by the CEO’s pledge of their hardware will donate their devices at the end of their cycle to Computer for Schools Plus (OPE +), a Canadian government program that restores devices for use in schools, libraries, nonprofits, indigenous communities, and eligible low-income individuals. By combining the best technology with the participation of leading Canadian organizations, we can better serve people and create opportunities for everyone, across the country.

“Organizations that have embraced the CEO’s pledge are leading by example.” Their dedication will improve access to technology for Canadians at risk of digital exclusion while creating a more sustainable future for all, “said Toby Harper Merritt, Managing Director, Computer for Excellence Canada.

The CEO Engagement process is the latest initiative in Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to preparing Canadians for the digital economy by providing them with access to skills training and other digital infrastructure investments. Microsoft made several announcements recently, including a global skills building initiative to provide free access to online training tools from Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub; Free, express workshops on Azure Basics organized by Seneca College in cooperation with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC); Microsoft’s partnership with Digital Technologies Supercluster, NPower Canada and Blueprint to provide skills training for unemployed and unemployed youth from underrepresented communities in the digital economy.

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23 Canadian organizations have joined Microsoft as part of the CEO’s pledge, including TELUS, Bell Canada, TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, Sunlife and Enbridge Inc.

This is an important step towards creating an innovative future that will support job growth and ensure that unrepresented groups have access to the technologies they need to acquire the skills needed for jobs in the world. We are delighted that many organizations from all sectors have joined us on this journey and we look forward to welcoming new brands in the coming months. To learn more about CEO engagement and how to get involved, visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/ This page

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