Microsoft launched a new program in India to encourage more girls to take up careers in technology, the Times of India reports. “India DigiGirlz” aims to drive high school girls towards science and engineering fields by giving them the opportunity to participate in workshops and connect with Microsoft’s employees. Microsoft’s DigiGirlz program was founded in 2000 to address the issue of girls and science in the United States.
“The students are aware of technology more than ever before. Almost 100% of them have Facebook accounts, but the idea is to make them think of technology as a career,” Jacky Wright, Vice President of Microsoft IT, said. She added that the company is focusing on increasing awareness about the lack of girls in the technology field.
Girls make up less than 20% of students at the Indian Institute of Technology, and about 30% of employees in the IT Business Processing Outsourcing Sectors. Microsoft plans to expand the programs across India and Brazil, the company’s two focus countries.
“These economies are growing and we need the program in these countries,” said Wright. “Girls need to see role models. If they see it can be done, they will do it.”