Microsoft Campaign #MakeWhatsNext Inspires More Girls to Pursue STEMBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
To celebrate International Women's Day (March 8), Microsoft announced a social campaign that encourages more young girls to pursue careers in the fields of STEM or science, technology, engineering and math. The social media hashtag #MakeWhatsNext is what's used to help girls get more engaged in the activity.
According to Microsoft, the campaign aims to raise awareness on the issues why girls drop out or lose interest in STEM-related subjects. They also aim to spark and bring that excitement and interest and make these young girls see that they can change the world.
Mary Snapp, corporate vice president of Microsoft Philanthropies said that they really aim to challenge and encourage girls to stay in STEM so that they will feel empowered to solve the problems and issues that are more pressing to them, from creating solutions to these problems, to issues on climate change, to finding cure for cancer and a lot more.
According to a study published by Microsoft in January 3, girls have the tendency to become uninterested in STEM fields when they grow older, especially when they reach 15. And according to the #MakeWhatsNext campaign, only 6.7 percent of women who graduated from college have taken degrees related to STEM.
Cindy Kohlleppel, a NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award winner who credits Microsoft's programs for encouraging her to study STEM-related subjects, said that women are needed in STEM because without them, the industry is actually missing half of the knowledge they could gain. The NCWIT award is given to 50 female students who are able to exhibit passion for STEM fields, and Kohlleppel was just awarded this year. She said that it was her interest and increased passion in her field, computer science, was the product from Microsoft's DigiGirlz.