Microsoft celebrates International Women’s Day with #MakeWhatsNext campaign

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Tomorrow marks International Women’s Day, a day recognized around the world by various nations and international organizations to celebrate respect and appreciation for women, as well as celebrate women’s economic, political, and social achievements.

Microsoft announced earlier today that the company plans to celebrate International Women’s Day with a new campaign to inspire young women around the world to #MakeWhatsNext. The campaign kicks off tomorrow first with a video which highlights the lack of awareness girls have about women inventors and “reminds them to celebrate those women’s accomplishments and be encouraged to follow in their footsteps.”

Microsoft will be continuing their #MakeWhatsNext campaign through multiple efforts to “to encourage girls to build technology skills and learn about careers in technology.” This includes programs such as DigiGirlz, which offers free resources for “girls to learn to code and meet female role models” at special events. It will also include free online coding tutorials aimed at closing the gender gap, and a new patent program for young female inventors. Combined with Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, the #MakeWhatsNext campaign hopes to encourage young women to learn more about computer science to be building the next great inventions of our increasingly digitized world.

DigiGirlz event
DigiGirlz event in France in 2014 via Microsoft

The announcement goes on with inspiring and thoughtful quotes by multiple female executives at Microsoft, such as Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Human Resources; Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development; and Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft Chief Experiences Officer for the Office Experience. They describe the importance of diversity as well as the importance of teaching young women about coding and technology, and how it has impacted their lives. Sumit Chauhan, General Manager of Office Engineering, speaks to of the importance of learning about computer science even if you are not going to be a programmer. She says, “Coding has taught me an iterative approach to problem solving and sharpened my critical thinking, skills I use every day on my job, even when I am not coding.”