As part of its commitment to provide technology programmes that target youth, Microsoft Singapore hosted more than 50 female students from eight different secondary schools and junior colleges in September 2012 as part of the Microsoft DigiGirlz Day programme.

Helene Auriol, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore, with the winning team in the ‘Building Windows 8 application’ challenge

This marks the second time Microsoft has organised DigiGirlz Day in Singapore, and this initiative is part of its Diversity and Inclusiveness programme that is designed to provide female students insights into the information technology (IT) industry.

Andrew Pickup, Communications Director at Microsoft Asia, opened the event by sharing some of his own experiences amassed in his 20 years working with the company, "We wanted to provide the students an inside look at what it is like to work in Microsoft. Through the DigiGirlz Day activities and presentations, the participants can gain a greater awareness of the ample opportunities available.”

Microsoft invited Sucheta Firodia, Managing Director of nonprofit organisation Girls in Tech Singapore, to participate in the programme. She shared her perspectives of working in the IT industry, and also gave a presentation on the evolution of technology. Ms Firodia also took part in a panel discussion with Helene Auriol, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore, and Julianne Truda, Microsoft Singapore HR Director, with the three female leaders in the IT sector fielding questions from the students pertaining to careers in technology.

A panel discussion with three female leaders in the IT industry was held during the event

During the hands-on technology workshop, the students were grouped in teams to participate in a ‘Building Windows 8 Apps’ competition, while Chia Yong Xiang, an IT student at Nanyang Polytechnic, showcased how his Lego NXT creation is able to solve the Rubik’s Cube through the use of a Windows Phone app.

Nazeem Mustaffa, Digital Marketing Lead at Microsoft Singapore, wrapped up the event with a presentation on the do’s and don’ts of social media, while highlighting the importance of online privacy and security.

Stephanie Hung, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Singapore, said, “DigiGirlz Day is a great platform for Microsoft to inspire female students in Singapore to explore future career paths in technology. It also presented us with the opportunity to share with these young women our work and collaboration with nonprofit organisations in the local communities we serve, which we hope will inspire them to put technology to good use.”