“From the first day, I was blown away at the support that everyone gave at Microsoft and how much everyone truly wanted us to be there. The short time I was at Microsoft, I learned so much about technology but more about how people can achieve in professions that they love and enjoy,” Keami Lewis reads.
It’s this comment and so many others from program participants that Lewis receives that remind her how much the company is impacting the lives of female high school students recruited for DigiGirlz, one of Microsoft’s signature programs to invest in science, technology, engineering and math education for young women.
In her role as Microsoft’s senior program manager for external outreach, Lewis tackles the global challenge of recruiting women for S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers.
“I partner with a lot of organizations for our global diversity and inclusion strategy here at Microsoft,” she shares. This includes African American, Hispanic, Asian, people with disabilities and LGBT groups. “We get involved full circle.”
At Microsoft, in particular, there are a multitude of employment opportunities that members of these groups can consider.
“There are a number of different engineering roles depending on whether it’s research, development or testing. The goal of DigiGirlz is to show that a: technology is very fun and b: if you like to be involved … [but] don’t want to be directly involved in it in terms of engineering, you can still do technical sales jobs. We try to give a full picture of the opportunities at Microsoft,” Lewis explains.
A graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Lewis’ background is in marketing and human resources. She’s spent the bulk of her career as a senior HR professional for a number of years. “I focused on organizational development. At Microsoft, I was focusing on the HR rotation program prior to taking on this role. I manage their diversity program. It is nice to combine the organizational development and HR diversity [experiences]. I am responsible for the learning and development of diversity and inclusion, helping identify conferences, and to design and deliver training and incorporate it into our existing Microsoft training programs,” she shares. “Microsoft makes a huge commitment to provide opportunities and to global diversity.”
Lewis also works directly with the Intel Computer Club in Seattle and partners with the Boys and Girls Club of America and schools around the country. DigiGirlz is one of several programs offered to youth and women in all constituency groups. Another is Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day. –yvette caslin
photo credit: Timothy Aguero