Microsoft has doubled down on its initiative aimed at drawing more young girls to consider careers in STEM – science, technology engineering and math, sectors that have been dominated by men.
The campaign was introduced last year and highlighted today with a video of young girls talking about they would do change the world. The girls who appear to be tweens and teens are resolute and confidant about the challenges they want to tackle: climate change, making sure there’s enough water for all, a cure for breast cancer, a self-sustaining environment – and more.
The video, labeled #MakeWhatsNext: Change the Odds is just 60 seconds long, but it’s has been widely distributed and also appeared on the morning news show – just in time for International Women’s Day March 8.
“We are acutely aware of the need to close the gender gap in the technology industry, and in all STEM fields,” Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies, writes in a blog on the Microsoft website. According to the U.S.Department of Commerce women currently hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. And, globally, only 16 percent of female students graduate from STEM subjects, according to the World Economic Forum. This needs to change.”
To that end, Microsoft launched a new movement last year calling on girls to #MakeWhatsNext. The company is doubling down on its efforts during Women’s History Month in March and International Women’s Day, which is observed on March 8.
The campaign raises awareness of the issues that cause girls to drop out of or lose interest in STEM, and aims to spark excitement in how they can change the world.
In Septembers 2016 philanthropist Melinda Gates launched a new initiative aimed at bringing more women into technology.
She would continue to work with the foundation, alongside her husband, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, traveling the developing world to help improve healthcare and reduce poverty, and she would also go out on her own to tackle gender inequality in technology.