DigiGirlz: Pivoting to a Different Reality
Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Technology Program has given hope to thousands of young women. Over the last decade, more than 13,700 have benefited from DigiGirlz camps and one-day events around the world. In 2010 alone, the decade-old program reached roughly 6,900 girls in more than fifty global locations.
Logan Olson of Spokane, Washington is just one of many success stories. A 2006 DigiGirlz participant, Logan developed a magazine for girls with disabilities using Microsoft accessibility technology. In 2005, a visually-impaired college student job shadowed a visually-impaired Microsoft intern and got first-hand experience in the development of accessible technology. This led to the DigiGirl pursuing her new found interest as a Microsoft college intern working in the company’s Accessible Technology Group.
According to a 2008 DigiGirlz study conducted by The Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, the most significant impact of the DigiGirlz Technology Program is raising awareness of the benefits of hitech career choices. Other areas of impact for students include better understanding of computers, more post-high school planning, and a heightened interest in technology-related fields.
DigiGirlz’s highly organized, innovative and educational programs give young women the opportunity to participate in hands-on courses that help introduce them to the benefits of technology-related careers. shadow employees, view product demonstrations, and interact with senior level Microsoft employees.
Mentors are perhaps the most important asset Microsoft offers. Take these 3 executives: Senior Manager of Development and Outreach Keami Lewis, training consultant, Detra Newhouse, and Leslie Gray, a director in infrastructure and database management, serve as sources of professional aspiration. They work with DigiGirlz to help improve their STEM educational experiences, teach effective use of technology, and mentor young women as they pursue their career goals.