Microsoft was featured in a Forbes article, Women And STEM Careers: How Microsoft Is Building A Bridge To Future Innovation -- One Girl At A Time, touting companies who are focused on hiring more women for technology positions. Women are currently under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs, holding fewer than 25 percent of these jobs compared with holding half of all jobs in the US. Companies in STEM industries have difficulty filling positions due to lack of qualified candidates and see women as a way to fill the resource gap.
The article features Kara Fong, a graduate of the iSchool Informatics program and Rane Johnson-Stempson, a member of the iSchool Informatics Advisory Board, who both work at Microsoft.
Excerpts from the article:
"The question for Microsoft became, 'How can we engage and inspire young women toward a career in STEM, especially given it’s been a historically male-dominated industry and culture?” said Rane Johnson-Stempson, a research director at Microsoft who is leading the company’s efforts to grow the pipeline of women in research, science, and engineering. “What we realized is we needed to build a bridge to the future by getting girls excited in STEM early in their lives, and then keeping them engaged and supporting their learning all the way through their college education, internships, and into their careers.'"
"Kara Fong is an example of one young woman who was interested in technology, but wasn’t sure how she could make a career out of it. She attended a DigiGirlz High Tech Camp in 2005 when she was 14 years old and it gave her the inspiration she needed. 'I originally thought the tech industry wasn’t really for women and pictured a bunch of geeky males with pocket protectors hunched over computers. At the DigiGirlz camp I learned ways I could use my math skills that were much more interesting than what we learned in school, such as to create fun, interactive games.'"