#MAKEWHATSNEXT

Microsoft’s Campaign Saluting ‘Woman Made’ Launched On International Women’s Day

While STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) continues to prove its importance across industries, women and girls remain significantly underrepresented in both educational settings and in the workforce. Only 11% of executives within Silicon Valley’s top 150 tech companies are women.[1] Not only does this mean a large portion of the population is missing out on the critical computer science skills to help them further their academic and professional pursuits; but it also means we all risk missing out on the next disruptive idea or innovation that could improve our world.

When Microsoft asked girls to name three women inventors, their answers to this simple question, or the lack thereof, further demonstrated the gravity of this problem. To give young girls role models and make them aware of the significant contributions of women in the fields of science and technology – including the first computer algorithm and rocket propulsion system – this International Women’s Day, as an evolution of the “Girls Do Science” campaign in 2015, Microsoft is celebrating all things that are ‘Woman Made’ and encouraging young girls to #MakeWhatsNext.

As part of this initiative, Microsoft will launch new programs and resources on www.MakeWhatsNext.com that will help young girls take the next step in making their STEM dreams a reality, including a Patent Program. The campaign and Patent Program were announced at the International Women’s Day conference, held at two venues, the United Nations on Monday, March, 7 and at Microsoft offices at Times Square on Tuesday, March 8.  The conference is organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center and United Nationals Office for Partnerships.

[1] Gender Diversity in Silicon Valley, Fenwick & West, 2014

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