In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Microsoft Bahrain hosted its “Microsoft DigiGirlz Day” for the first time in Bahrain. The event was hosted by the Information Technology Department of the University of Bahrain. The Microsoft DigiGirlz day comes to Bahrain as part of the Partners in Learning agreement that was signed between Microsoft and the Ministry of Education last year. The event aims to increase the engagement of female students with technology within an educational framework. In addition, Microsoft hopes that this initiative will encourage more young women to pursue degrees and careers in computer science and computer engineering, with the ultimate goal of narrowing the gender gap in the industry.
One hundred female students from grades 9-12 from 17 selected schools participated at this year’s event. During the event, students had the opportunity to interact with Microsoft employees and managers to gain exposure to careers in business and technology and to get an inside look at what it is like to work at Microsoft.
Addressing the event Sheikha Lulwa Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, Assistant under Secretary for Curriculum from the Ministry of Education said “The Microsoft DigiGirlz event is in line with the Ministry’s efforts to reach out to high school girls and increase female participation in the Science and Technology field. By hosting an event such as DigiGirlz, we aim to empower students to build successful careers for themselves and educate them on technology. DigiGirlz is an example of our strong partnership with Microsoft and we look forward to a continuous long-term association with them to inspire more females in the region to choose a science and technology based career.”
From her side, Dr. Lamya Mohammed Aljasmi Chairperson of the Computer Science Department, College of Information Technology, University of Bahrain, said, “We at the University of Bahrain are delighted to partner with Microsoft to host the DigiGirlz event for high school students. We continue to engage in activities that boost the image of Information Technology to make it more attractive to girls and encourage their positive attitudes towards IT. This event is an excellent opportunity for students to decide to pursue technology related careers. We look forward to having similar events with Microsoft in the future.”
Badea Esbai, Country Manager, Microsoft Bahrain said. “Microsoft continues to actively partner with universities and national organizations to increase the representation of women in computer-related majors by changing the image of computing and creating opportunities attractive to girl students. We commend the Ministry of Education and University of Bahrain’s efforts to inspire and expose a young generation to technology and encourage them to contribute towards the development of an advanced technological society. 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. We want these girls to know that IT is not just for boys or geeks, technology innovation is for everyone. DigiGirlz is just one of Microsoft’s many initiatives and programs that aim to educate and attract female talent.”
In addition, the event also provided the girls with career planning assistance, information about technology and business roles, thought-provoking exercises and interaction with some of Microsoft’s most exciting technology tools and entertainment devices. To add color to this topic, the girls also took part in hands-on sessions and workshops to learn computer skills such as website development; movie-making; blogging and photosynthesis.