SAIO 50 for 50: Willow Young
This Week's Spotlight: Willow Young ('03, B.A. CSRE with honors)
Young (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe and Lakota) is a Senior Learning & Development Manager at Microsoft, driving a culture of learning and inclusion for Microsoft Advertising. Young led this year’s launch of Indigenous at Microsoft, a Microsoft employee resource group that provides a community for Indigenous employees around the globe to honour, share, and celebrate indigenous cultures while shaping inclusive technology to empower future generations. She is currently working on an employee resource group operational efficiency project, executing diverse hiring strategies, promoting diversity advocacy for Microsoft Advertising, and planning the first company-wide inclusion conference.
Young regularly uses her position at Microsoft to encourage and inspire students from underrepresented communities to seek careers in technology. She has organized and led visits to Microsoft for Native students, spoken at tribal school career days, diversity recruiting events, Microsoft intern diversity events, the North American Indian Women’s Association conference, and Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Day, and participated in Roadtrip Nation’s Code Trip visit to Microsoft.
Young is a recipient of the Microsoft Global Ops Exceptional Shepherd leadership award and the Microsoft Champions Diversity & Inclusion Award. She was also part of a team of Native employees that won first place at Microsoft's annual Hackathon for building a Cherokee language AI translation tool.