Microsoft’s DigiGirlz High Tech Camps aim to attract girls to IT careers

Microsoft has opened its Uthiru Girls High School campus to fervent and determined young women for DigiGirlz High Tech Camp. Over the course of the camp, girls from Kiambu County immersed themselves in the latest innovations in technology.

With the DigiGirlz Camp, which is now in its 5th edition, Microsoft 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. DigiGirlz High Tech Camps’ purpose 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 what it is like to develop cutting-edge technology.

“Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Camp 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 WatauGaita, Microsoft WECA Customer Partner Experience Lead. “We believe that the camp will help address the strong gender imbalance that exists internationally in regards to women’s presence in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics all over the world.”

Over 200high school girls from Kiambu County were chosen to participate in Microsoft’s DigiGirlz High Tech Camp. Throughout the week, the girls participated in a number of activities, the highlight of which was a keynote speech from Ruth Owigar, co-founder of AkiraChix, who encouraged the girls to stay active in math and science programs and to pursue a degree in a technology related field.

“You only need confidence and a learning attitude to pursue programming”, said Ms Owigar.

The workshop was held in partnership with I choose Life Africa and brought together 18 high schools, 40 teachers, over 30 Microsoft employees attending as volunteers, as well as over 10 volunteers from other organisations.

More than 23,500 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 one on one with senior level Microsoft executives, participate in workshops and product demonstrations, and shadow employees possessing similar interests.  Through DigiGirlz, Microsoft wants to show that they are bringing up a new generation of innovative women leaders and helping girls change their future through the use of technology.

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