REDMOND, Wash. — May 4, 2010 — According to the latest national studies, women represent the largest underutilized national resource of great potential in science and technology. Data suggests that to maintain the current number of scientists and engineers in the U.S., enrollment and retention of women and ethnic minorities in these fields must rise from a total of less than 25 percent to 75 percent in the next 40 years. [Source: “The Women in Technology Project.”]
Concerned about statistics like these, Microsoft developed the DigiGirlz Technology Program series, now in its 10th year, to inspire high school girls to explore careers in the technology field. The DigiGirlz Technology Programs (which include high-tech camps and one-day events) are organized and run by Microsoft employee volunteers. Girls gain the opportunity to hear from Microsoft senior executives and community leaders. In addition to classroom learning, the girls interact one-on-one with Microsoft employees through product demonstrations, tours and job shadowing of employees with similar interests. The hands-on technology courses also teach students computer skills such as product design, graphic design and resume building. By the end of 2010, more than 13,200 students will have attended the Microsoft DigiGirlz Technology Programs.