Microsoft aims to become more gender-inclusive with first Hack for Her Summit

Though technology has been a largely male sector for decades, Hack for Her looks to be Microsoft’s latest move towards integrating both genders into the field. The first summit was held on January 12, and more information has come out regarding the summit and its goals, opening the gate for more events like it to be hosted. Below is a highlights video from the recent summit which highlights the effort’s moves thus far as well as its goals.

Previously, we’ve known that adult women are a prime demographic for developers, with casual and mobile games leading the charge. We’ve also seen #ILookLikeAnEngineer speed across Twitter from various women-led teams at Microsoft who worked to develop products from Cortana to HoloLens. The women already in the technology industry is an amazing move forward from where we’ve been previously, but the Code for Her Summit looks to increase the number even further.

As executive sponsor of Hack for Her, as well as executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft, Peggy Johnson feels strongly about this new move for inclusive development: “Building products for everyone starts with gender-inclusive design.” Johnson has also partnered with design experts from various fields of study to educate and aid companies in gender-inclusive development methods.

As Microsoft wrote in their official blog post about Hack for Her, “Our goal is to grow the Hack for Her community by growing awareness of its opportunities and benefits, invite participants to host hands-on hackathons and education summits, and create tools to apply the gender lens.” Code for Her also offers the chance for companies to take advantage of the $18 trillion market that women make up globally and work to improve products to benefit more people in general.

As Microsoft notes, you can find the effort on Twitter at @HackForHer, as well as information on co-hosting or co-sponsoring an event by emailing [email protected]

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What products and services could be improved with more diverse in-development input from men and women?