To celebrate International Women’s Day, Microsoft is encouraging everyone to help inspire women and girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
As part of the #PressforProgress campaign, several Microsoft senior leaders will reach out to girls in local communities to create a relatable picture of what it’s like to work in STEM. Microsoft will also host over 125 DigiGirlz events around the world, to provide girls with opportunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.
Microsoft stores will host DigiGirlz workshops and women in STEM panels throughout March, featuring women in aviation, coding, gaming and space. This will give attendees the opportunity to learn to code and meet internationally recognised, aspiring astronaut 16 year-old Alyssa Carson.
This follows on from news that Microsoft Asia launched the #MakeWhatsNext campaign which aims to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM.
“As a society, we have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of female science, technology, engineering and maths leaders,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies, in a recent blog post. “Today’s youngest students – known as Gen Z – are unlike any previous generation. They are digital natives with the creativity and confidence to use STEM to drive to positive change. Yet we are failing to keep them engaged and excited about the possibilities that STEM studies and careers provide. Unless things change much faster, many in this bright, hopeful generation will not enter these fields.”
Microsoft Philanthropies also provides grants to non-profit organisations and projects that prioritise increasing diversity in computer science, and more than half of beneficiaries are women. For the past four summers, the company has partnered with Girls Who Code, to host high school girls enrolled in the non-profit’s summer immersion programme. Girls spend a portion of the summer on many of our US campuses learning to build apps, games, websites and hardware.
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