By some metrics, women are underrepresented in the technology industry, and it’s not because they aren’t trying. It’s Microsoft’s goal to reach into an industry that struggles to stay diverse and help create a wider range of developers–a more diverse workplace invariably results in an organization that can innovate more than its competitors.
Microsoft wrote about this issue in a recent blog post where they spoke about the underrepresentation of women in technology and why that’s such an unhealthy thing for the industry. In the blog post, along with addressing core issues, Microsft also talked about some of the things that are being done to try and solve some of these problems. The NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, the Microsoft Research Women’s Fellowship, and DigiGirlz are all avenues through which Microsoft is helping to make the industry more diverse and welcoming to women who are trying to show off their skill in the field.
According to Microsoft:
Wherever we go—university campuses, technology companies, academic conferences, and tradeshows—the reality is clear: We have yet to solve the problem of underrepresentation of women in computing and IT. The statistics support the anecdotal evidence; the numbers confirm what we see around us. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), in 2015, only 25 percent of jobs in computing and IT were filled by women, and less than 10 percent of those by women of color. Microsoft Research, like many other members of the private and public sectors, is determined to affect those numbers.
The blog post made it clear that there’s nothing that “isolated pockets of change” can ultimately do, and it’s up to the industry as a whole to make wide, sweeping changes to the system in order to help make things more diverse. According to the blog post, this, alongside the fact that women are generally not encouraged to pursue these fields like men are, prove to be serious problems that we all need to make efforts to address.