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Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Program Enriches Next Female Technology Leaders

Technology giant Microsoft is making a huge impact in the lives of young high school girls with its DigiGirlz initiative.

“The DigiGirlz is a basically one of Microsoft’s signature programs to invest in science, technology, engineering and math education for young women. The primary goal of the program is to give them the opportunity to explore technology careers by allowing them to experience some of our technology firsthand and also by exposing them to senior technical women as role models through the program,” Microsoft’s senior manager of Development and Outreach Keami Lewis shares.

Through DigiGirlz, Microsoft aims to educate and inspire the next generation of women IT leaders by introducing them to the considerable opportunities and career choices available. The exposure will help them embrace S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) studies to prepare them for these exciting careers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 300,000 technology-related jobs remain unfilled due to lack of qualified workers. Further, statistics related to female leadership in technology are staggering: between 1983 and 2006, the share of computer science bachelor’s degrees awarded to women dropped from 36 to 21 percent.

The DigiGirlz one-day events and camps are held all over the world and are designed to provide high school girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology is all about.

“Ideally, the program is helping us to build an early pipeline of future workers for the technology industry. Usually there are 10 or 12 multiple-day camps around the world, including Denmark, China and Sweden. There are 60 one-day camps in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Australia, Asia and Europe,” Lewis explains.

During the event, students interact with Microsoft employees and managers to gain exposure to careers in business and technology and to get an inside look at what it’s like to work at Microsoft.

“One of the core strategies is to target a diverse constituency group. We partner with several organizations [around the world] to target African American youth, Hispanic youth, and Asian youth as well youth with disabilities.”

Let’s applaud Microsoft for empowering the next generation’s tech gurus. –yvette caslin

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Photo Credit: Ron Wurzer