Members of Soroptimist International with Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly at centre, Irmin McKenzie , Lisette Maxime-Hernandez, Marilyn Lalla, Tara Pollanais, Chinara Griffith. Photo by Richard Soo Chin, courtesy Microsoft.
Microsoft opened its Port of Spain office to passionate and determined young women for DigiGirlz on May 4th, 2019 . Girls from Holy Faith Convent, Couva, ASJA Girls College Barrackpore, Parvati Girls Hindu College, Debe Secondary School, St. Francois Girls College, UWI, Trinity College Moka, Bishops Centenary College, St. Theresa Girls and Mucurapo West Secondary School attended.
With the DigiGirlz events, Microsoft hopes to significantly increase the number of young women involved in technology-focused careers, and to set an example for other corporations to pursue avenues of inclusion in the workplace. DigiGirlz High Tech Camps, which happen globally, aspire to dispel myths of what it means to have a career in the high-tech industry and offer girls a chance to experience firsthand what it is like to develop cutting-edge technology.
“Microsoft’s DigiGirlz strives to provide young women with the necessary expertise and direction to succeed in a world becoming more dependent on the latest technologies and innovations,” said Lisette Maxime-Hernandez, Territory Channel Manager Caribbean, from Microsoft, who spearheaded the event.
“We believe that this experience will help young girls dismiss thoughts of the high tech industry catering only to males, and provide encouragement to them to progress and excel in this field”
At the forum, there were key note presentations from industry leaders and Minister of Culture Dr. Nyan Gadsby Dolly, who presented “The Female Growth Mindset” saying, “It is critical that we, (women and girls), take our place in leadership and the decision making of this country.”
A range of women speakers discussed success strategies, opportunities in ICT and their personal experiences. Speakers included Lisette Maxime-Hernandez, Racquel Moses CEO, Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, Sarah Bond, Microsoft CVP Microsoft Gaming, Vernisha Ayoung, IT Lead ,Shell, Jacqueline Juteram, Country Manager, JP Marshall and Associates, Neeala Racha, Solution Sales Specialist, Software One West Indies and Ingrid Jahra, CEO of CinemaOne ( Imax, Gemstone).
More than 54,000 students have attended the Microsoft DigiGirlz Technology Programs (both camps and one-day events, internationally) since they began in 2000. DigiGirlz gives girls the opportunity to meet with Microsoft executives, participate in workshops and product demonstrations, and be mentored by employees possessing similar interests.
Through DigiGirlz, Microsoft wants to show that they are bringing up a new generation of innovative women leaders and helping girls change their future through the use of technology.