Microsoft & UC Co-Host Hands-on Tech Day for Young Women

By:     Ashley Duvelius
Date:  December 8, 2017

On October 20, 2017, Microsoft and UC co-hosted the annual (and free) DigiGirlz Day to train young high school women in new technologies.

DigiGirlz Day 2017

In support of the ever-increasing demand for tech jobs—and more importantly, the need for women in these jobs—Microsoft brought its fourth annual DigiGirlz Cincinnati event to the University of Cincinnati (UC) on October 20, 2017. The free, one-day event was co-hosted by UC’s ACM-W (Association for Computing Machinery - Committee on Women) student chapter and was held in Stratford Banquet Hall and Old Chem.

The annual DigiGirlz Day event aims to close the gender gap in technology, since women are significantly underrepresented in the field. It’s a fun day for high school girls to learn more about their career options in technology and network with Microsoft professionals, UC students and faculty in the field.

DigiGirlz Day 2017

Around 45 young female students from local high schools participated in this year’s event and it was a huge success thanks to the more than 30 UC student volunteers. UC's Center for Community Engagement assisted with the volunteer recruitment. 

The keynote speaker was Dr. Whitney Gaskins, PhD and College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Department of Engineering Education Assistant Professor. Participating high school girls took part in an exciting roundtable discussion featuring a panel of Microsoft professionals and two UC students, Anna Debrunner, who is completing her cooperative education (co-op) rounds with L-3, and Tessa Wiedmann, who is currently an intern at Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft led a soft skills activity and GHI Electronics led a coding activity. 

DigiGirlz Day 2017

The computer science outreach event sent students home with a better idea of what it means to pursue a career in technology as well as Microsoft swag bags and 3D printed art pieces. The first few ladies who finished the coding activity also received a BrainPad from GHI Electronics.

Saylee Dharne, CEAS computer science ’20 student and Community Service Chair of ACM-W at UC, organized the event along with her fellow students Anna Debrunner, Mansi Patel, and Tessa Wiedmann.

Dharne reflects, “Overall, this year's DigiGirlz Day was a success in no small part due to the wonderful people who contributed. DigiGirlz Day broke stereotypes by showing these young girls that they belong in technology and how they could make a positive impact on the world with their passions. Step by step, we are getting closer to closing the gender gap in STEM.”

DigiGrilz Day 2017

About ACM-W

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.  ACM delivers resources that advance computing as a science and as a profession.  ACM provides the computing field's premier Digital Library.  This Digital library serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and as a career resource.

ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.