Microsoft Australia to host the first Australian DigiGirlz Event


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Minister Jodi McKay MP keynoted a recent Females in Telecommunications & Technology luncheon to celebrate International Women’s Day. During the event, she highlighted one of the biggest challenges facing Women in Technology: One in five Australians studying to work in ICT was female, and the number is currently in decline.


On the 24th of March, Microsoft Sydney office will be starting the first in a series of events to combat this issue, hosting Girls from Years 9-11 from High Schools all over Sydney for the first Australian DigiGirlz day.


Microsoft is proud to offer technology programs that target youth, with DigiGirlz events held at multiple Microsoft locations worldwide. These events are designed specifically to provide high school girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology is all about.


During the event, students interact with Microsoft employees and managers as well as staff from universities that invest in technological areas of study to gain exposure to careers in business and technology and to get an inside look at what it’s like to work at Microsoft. This exciting event provides girls with career planning assistance, information about technology and business roles, thought-provoking exercises, and interesting Microsoft product demonstrations. By participating in the Microsoft DigiGirlz Day, young women can find out about the variety of opportunities available in the high-tech industry and can explore future career paths.


This will be supplemented by round table areas that give students the chance to talk with local University representatives to discuss study options and university criteria to help them best plan their final years subjects to best prepare them for an exciting career in IT.


The day will run from 11:30 – 3:30 and will comprise of several sessions covering topics such as having a passion for Technology and what you can do with it, and a brief look at Introductory Programming languages, presented by leading Microsoft speakers. The action will then move to the 4 rotating rooms of interactive content:


Hands on Lab: Interact with the latest Microsoft Technology to build your own rich media creations using technologies like DeepZoom and PhotoSynth.


Technology Sneak Peak: See Ashley Jenkins demonstrate the awesome new Project Natal technology which is revolutionising the Gaming Industry & the growing number of careers in this Dynamic space.


University Round Tables: Speak with students & Faculty representatives from Key Australian Universities about the best paths to studying IT at University. Also represented will be some of Australia’s Leading IT Industries, to talk about the Government & Not for Profit programs that support growing this industry.


Female Role Model Round Tables: Take the opportunity to speak with Female Role Models from Microsoft & our Partners about the reasons they chose to work in the IT Industry and hear about the various & rewarding careers they have.


So if you are a female student that is currently in Years 9 – 11 at school & thinking about a career in IT, let us know if you would like to come along by sending an e-mail message with your name, city and state, and the name of your high school to dgau@microsoft.com. Email address updated to: catherine.eibner@microsoft.com

Comments (9)

  1. Jeremy Huppatz says:

    This is great!  Are you getting any input from Lynn Langit, who has been running a similar program in the US and Western Europe?

  2. cope_d says:

    Sounds great! Any plans for holding similar events in other cities? (our school is in Melbourne)

  3. ceibner says:

    Jeremy – we have been working with Lynn & the great work she has done on this in similar programs around the world!

    Cope_d – this is the first one we have run in Australia & hopefully if it all goes well, we will have many more! I am hoping to tie something into the AIIA ICT week in the middle of the year!

  4. Congratulations Catherine & team – great to see an initiative geared to encouraging girls in IT. 🙂

  5. Gavin Costello says:

    Catherine,

    On the face of it this appears to be a great initiative as I understand there may be a need in Australia for more proactive engagement with girls, where it appears they are under-represented in the IT industry. However, I’m interested to understand if anyone is leading the charge to ensure the MALE high school students are kept interested in the space?

    Maybe, I’m being cynical, but if this was a digiboyz event with the girls excluded, would the commentary be so positive?

    Regards

    Gavin

  6. Andra says:

    Gavin, by default, ALL technology/ICT events are male with girls/women marginalized to the point of almost total exclusion – unless there as admin, pr, booth bunny or food and drink fetchers. Whenever I have attended a major ICT event, I am asked ‘who I’m there with?’.

    The business and IT sector in nonAsian countries struggles for female participation rates greater than 12% and the great steps forward were in the 90s, with a decline since. Statistics also show that the participation of women is highest in the lowest paid, least influential roles.

    Your argument, Gavin, is not so much cynical as irrelevant, unless you think it’s economically, socially or technologically beneficial for the business and IT sector to ignore the talents of 50% of the population. Or unless you believe that women are technically challenged?

    Some recent research shows that in spite of initiatives for girls at school (and university) to take up engineering, the attrition rate as they progress is extreme in the main due to hostile workplaces.

  7. V. says:

    When will the 2011 Digigirlz event in Sydney be?

  8. ceibner says:

    Hi V, It will be the 1st of April – let me know if you want more details?

  9. GYI says:

    hello! i went to this, and it was one of the best things ive ever done!! would highly recommend it!