With a drive to get more females actively involved in ICT globally, Microsoft, with its ‘Digigirlz Day’ initiative, introduced over 200 young girls from high schools in Nairobi county to the latest world technologies and innovation.
Digigirlz is one of Microsoft’s signature programmes to invest in education for young women and build a pipeline on future workers ready for the challenges of the global economy. Its purpose is to drive away myths of what it means to have a career in the high-tech industry and give girls a chance to experience first hand what is like to develop cutting edge technology. The event held in Makini school themed “Girls get IT” took enthusiastic and determined young women through various ICT topics and the latest innovations in technology and opportunities in the sector.
Throughout the day students were engaged by different speakers from partner organisations among them the Kenya ICT board, who encouraged them to stay active in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“Events such as Digigirlz help demystify the industry by profiling successful Kenyan women in IT. Relevant role models are essential in creating an interest in the IT field and helping young women visualize a career in IT,” said Catherine Ngahu, Kenya ICT board chair.
Catherine also added that an interest in IT does not only prepare them for a career but also empowers them with the ability to include technology in their daily lives to access information and convert it into knowledge.
“I thought ICT was all about computers and one had to do computer in school but I’ve realized that its flexible and I can do it after I finish high school,” said Maryann Orwa, a student in Makini School.
Veronica Mumi, a computer and physics teacher from Limuru girls said that it was a good initiative for Microsoft given that most Kenyan girls have a negative perspective towards IT.
“Girls should embrace IT because the market is not yet flooded, there are greater opportunities for women,” she said.