New Delhi – 24th September, 2014 – Microsoft India today launched ‘Women in Tech’, an initiative aimed at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months. These will include girl school students, young women students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) colleges, women IT professionals and women entrepreneurs. As part of the initiative, Microsoft launched a unique online platform which can be accessed at http://www.microsoftwomenintech.in/.
Announcing the new initiative, Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India said, “Today, the IT industry in India has about one million women. Our Women in Tech initiative aims to double that number in the next few years. In the first year, our partners and we will train and mentor the next one million women and help them join, grow and succeed in the IT industry.”
“We are excited by the Government of India’s Digital India vision. At Microsoft, we have been running various IT skill development and education programs for youth for over 20 years. With this new initiative, we want to focus on helping women who aspire to be IT professionals,” he added.
“Our Women in Tech initiative is aimed at enabling India’s young girls and women find suitable careers in IT and accelerate their growth. Through the course of the next year, we will provide one million women access to awareness sessions, training and certification programs, and mentoring sessions. In addition, through Microsoft Ventures we will also mentor 30 women-led start-up companies and support them in building connections with the broader start-up community in India,” said Joseph Landes, Chief Evangelist, Microsoft India.
Women in Tech is designed to help aspiring IT professionals from the time they are in high school until they take up a IT job or start their own IT company. Microsoft has devised targeted plans for each education and career stage. These plans are aimed at:
- Educating the next generation of girls in high school to build IT career preference and develop IT skills. In addition, 150,000 girls across 1,000 high schools will participate in this program during the next year
- Helping prepare young women in higher education, STEM courses for a career in technology by increasing their technical preparedness, career counseling and mentoring. Microsoft will engage with 750,000 women in STEM courses in the next 12 months
- Providing access to training for women IT professionals to improve technical skills. 250,000 women IT professionals will be trained
- Mentoring and training women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. 2,500 women will be mentored and trained during the year. Further, Microsoft Ventures will mentor 30 women entrepreneurs and help them connect with the broader start-up ecosystem, in order to accelerate their business.
In addition to the training and mentoring delivered by Microsoft, the program will look towards building local communities for girls and women to meet, network, and learn from each other by sharing ideas and learnings across the board, adding a dimension of community learning and professional development.
Note to Editors
Microsoft has several student focused programs in India, including:
- Youth Spark – Project Jyoti has impacted over 500,000 underserved youths in India, enabling them to improve their lives through the use of technology
- Over 12 million technical students have downloaded free developer & designer tools through the Microsoft DreamSpark program, the highest in the world
- Microsoft Student Program (MSP) is aimed at empowering student communities across colleges and universities by providing them certification trainings and free access to Microsoft technology, platforms and products. Currently, there are more than 1,500 MSPs in India
- Under Project Shiksha, Microsoft has partnered with State governments and has set-up ‘Shiksha’ academies that have impacted over 745,000 teachers and 37.2 million students
- Close to 2 million Indian students have participate in the Imagine Cup, a global technology competition every year
- Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) were launched with a vision of driving innovation and providing incubation and expert hands-on support on Microsoft technology innovation, research, and software solutions with an aim of creating a pool of student technology experts across India. Currently 49 MICs across India serve as innovation hubs at select colleges and technology institutes
- code.fun.do’s are a series of hackathons which Microsoft Academia Accelerator conducts across 14 tier I engineering colleges. Students are taught Microsoft platforms and tools and then build apps under the mentorship of Microsoft engineers. Over 4,000 students have participated in code.fun.do’s since 2013, generating 350+ app ideas, and 10+ apps on the store
- India has the highest number of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) with over 341,000 certifications awarded in the last three years on end-generation technologies
- Microsoft Research India has engaged over 15,000 students to help them explore careers in research and innovation
About Microsoft India
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 6,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research and development and customer services and support, across nine Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft is committed to touching and transforming lives and businesses in India through technology.