Microsoft's DigiGirlz exposes young women to IT field
Culture Minister Dr. Nyan Gadsby Dolly addressing participants
Young women from various schools got the chance to engage with leading women in the IT field when Microsoft opened its Port-of-Spain office on May 4 for DigiGirlz.
Over the course of the event, girls from the Holy Faith Convent, Couva, ASJA Girls College Barrackpore, Parvati Girls Hindu College, Debe Secondary School, St. Francois Girls College, UWI, Trinity College Moka, Bishops Centenary College, St. Theresa Girls, Mucurapo West Secondary School immersed themselves in engaging talks from leading women in IT.
A release from Microsoft said that with the DigiGirlz events, the company hopes to significantly increase the number of young women involved in technology-focused careers and to set an example for other corporations to pursue avenues of inclusion in the workplace.
The purpose of the DigiGirlz High Tech Camps’, which happen globally, is to dispel myths of what it means to have a career in the high-tech industry and give girls a chance to experience firsthand the development of cutting-edge technology.
“Microsoft’s DigiGirlz strives to provide young women with the necessary expertise and direction to succeed in a world becoming more dependent on the latest technologies and innovations,” said Lisette Maxime-Hernandez, Territory Channel Manager Caribbean, from Microsoft who spearheaded the event.
”We believe that this experience will help young girls dismiss thoughts of the high tech industry catering only to males, and provide encouragement to them to progress and excel in this field."
At the forum, there were keynote presentations from industry leaders and the Minister of Culture, Dr. Nyan Gadsby Dolly, who presented “The Female Growth Mindset”.
“It is critical that we, (women and girls), take our place in leadership and the decision making of this country," she told the attendees.
Other presentations and speakers included Racquel Moses CEO, Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, Sarah Bond – Microsoft CVP Microsoft Gaming, Vernisha Ayoung – IT Lead - Shell and Ingrid Jahra – CEO of CinemaOne ( Imax, Gemstone).
More than 54,000 students have attended the Microsoft DigiGirlz Technology Programs (both camps and one-day events) since they began in 2000.
DigiGirlz gives girls the opportunity to meet with Microsoft executives, participate in workshops and product demonstrations, and be mentored by employees possessing similar interests.