Microsoft holds DigiGirlz Day
Event designed to show schoolgirls the careers available in the ICT sector
Microsoft recently held its third Microsoft DigiGirlz Day in collaboration with the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), AMD, Fujitsu, HP and Kodak.
The DigiGirlz Day is designed to encourage school girls to think about careers in the information and communication technology field and provides guidance on what careers are available for women in this sector.
"UOWD is proud to partner with Microsoft in hosting the DigiGirlz event. Today's youngsters develop interest in IT from an early age, and it is therefore appropriate for universities like UOWD to target school children through innovative programmes like these," said Dr Mohamed Salem, dean, Faculty of Computer Science & Engineering at UOWD.
During the event, participants had the opportunity to expose themselves to IT careers through participating in hands-on technology workshops delivered by Microsoft professionals and interacting with university, technology partners and employees. The event also provided the girls with career planning assistance, information about technology and business roles, use of some of Microsoft's technology tools and entertainment devices and hands-on sessions to learn computer skills such as website development, movie-making and blogging.
"Microsoft continues to actively partner with universities and national organisations to increase the representation of women in computer-related majors by changing the image of computing and creating opportunities attractive to girl students," said Azza Shinnawy, Education lead, Microsoft Gulf. "DigiGirlz is an effort to show high-school girl students what the technology industry is all about, what careers are available and to let them see how exciting it is to create something that can truly and positively impact a large number of people."
Over 200 girls from the Institute of Applied Technologies - Al Ain Female Campus, three high schools from the GEMS Education Network and five schools from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Network attended the DigiGirlz event this year.
"Having been in the technology sector all my career, and close to ten years with Fujitsu, I am always excited when initiatives are undertaken to teach young women about how a career in IT can benefit them and their communities," said Niamh Spelman, SVP Emerging Markets, Fujitsu Technology Solutions. "The Microsoft DigiGirlz Day programme for students across the GCC to learn more about new technological advancements reiterates Fujitsu's commitment to the community and the education sector."
UOWD offers a wide range of programmes in computer science and engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These include programmes in digital systems security, multimedia technology, internet science and technology, management information systems, engineering and IT management.
"These programmes are popular with students wishing to carve a career in IT as they realise that this is an area with potential for steady growth in the future,'" said Salem.