Microsoft India today launched ‘Women in Tech’, an initiative aimed at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months. These will include girl school students, young women students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) colleges, women IT professionals and women entrepreneurs.
Announcing the new initiative, Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India said, “Today, the IT industry in India has about one million women. Our Women in Tech initiative aims to double that number in the next few years. In the first year, our partners and we will train and mentor the next one million women and help them join, grow and succeed in the IT industry.”
“We are excited by the Government of India’s Digital India vision. At Microsoft, we have been running various IT skill development and education programs for youth for over 20 years. With this new initiative, we want to focus on helping women who aspire to be IT professionals,” he added.
“Our Women in Tech initiative is aimed at enabling India’s young girls and women find suitable careers in IT and accelerate their growth. Through the course of the next year, we will provide one million women access to awareness sessions, training and certification programs, and mentoring sessions. In addition, through Microsoft Ventures we will also mentor 30 women-led start-up companies and support them in building connections with the broader start-up community in India,” said Joseph Landes, Chief Evangelist, Microsoft India.
Women in Tech is designed to help aspiring IT professionals from the time they are in high school until they take up a IT job or start their own IT company. Microsoft has devised targeted plans for each education and career stage. These plans are aimed at:
-Educating the next generation of girls in high school to build IT career preference and develop IT skills. In addition, 150,000 girls across 1,000 high schools will participate in this program during the next year
-Helping prepare young women in higher education, STEM courses for a career in technology by increasing their technical preparedness, career counseling and mentoring. Microsoft will engage with 750,000 women in STEM courses in the next 12 months
-Providing access to training for women IT professionals to improve technical skills. 250,000 women IT professionals will be trained
-Mentoring and training women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. 2,500 women will be mentored and trained during the year. Further, Microsoft Ventures will mentor 30 women entrepreneurs and help them connect with the broader start-up ecosystem, in order to accelerate their business.
In addition to the training and mentoring delivered by Microsoft, the program will look towards building local communities for girls and women to meet, network, and learn from each other by sharing ideas and learnings across the board, adding a dimension of community learning and professional development.