Microsoft is taking the lead in getting young girls involved and interested in math and science via their ‘DigiGirlz Day’ Initiative. By introducing exciting IT career opportunities at an early age, the software giant hopes to spark a rise in female participation in the coming years.
Microsoft says that in 2008, over half of the U.S. workforce was female, however this was the case for only 24 percent of the IT profession. Another alarming statistic is that the number of female Computer Science graduates at top research universities dropped from 37 percent in 1985 to 18 percent in 2008. Females tend to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
“In general, I don’t think we, as a society, are doing a very good job evangelizing the STEM programs, ” said Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson. “As you know, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided millions of dollars toward trying to improve that. We just have to do a better job, even at Microsoft most of our job openings are in the core area of engineering architecture. Between men and women we even have less females going into the industry than we do males. We are closing that gap with programs like Digigirlz.”