New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) kicked off 2017 Microsoft DigiGirlz New England tour for middle and high school girls.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo joined the audience of 150 high school girls from across the state who participated in the event, which provided them with a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of careers in technology, participate in computer and technology workshops by New England Tech students and faculty in technology and engineering majors, and the chance to meet with Microsoft employees.
Raimondo shared a startling statistic of the vast opportunities for women entering the technology industry. Of the 42% of Rhode Island public high school students who took the Advanced Placement computer science exam last year, only twelve of them were female students. “I want to change that,” she said.
“You can’t dream about becoming something that you can’t see. Today you’ll be seeing women students and faculty in technology. I want you to get fired up about your future, and I want you to start dreaming big. The world cannot solve its problems without women at the table.” ~ RI Governor Gina Raimondo
Microsoft’s Citizenship & Public Affairs Director for the Northeast Region, Donna L. Woodall, also discussed the widening opportunities for women in the technology industry. Woodall described how Microsoft launched the DigiGirlz initiative in 2000 to encourage high school girls to pursue careers in the STEM fields. Noting that DigiGirlz was founded before most of the attending students were even born, she then mentioned that even today, women occupy just 6.7% of the technology industry workforce.
“We need to dispel the myth that this is a man’s job because women will bring more fun, diversity and new ideas to the field,” she said. “I want to see you in these roles. No matter the field – whether a dancer or a doctor – they all need technology.” ~ Microsoft’s Donna L. Woodall
At the event, current NEIT students presented seminars. Jayson Bennet and McKenzie Byrne presented separate game design modules, and Saskiah Vargas-Walton conducted a seminar on mechanical engineering technology.
NEIT offers technology-focused associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Game Development & Simulation Programming, Multimedia, and Web Design, Information Technology, Network Engineering Technology, Software Engineering Technology, Video Game Design, Cyber Security and Network Engineering, and Digital Media Production.
Learn more about how you can help build the world at New England Tech at www.neit.edu
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