Microsoft is actively encouraging women to remain in computer related educational programs with a new workshop held by Microsoft Research. The goal of this workshop is to encourage women to stay in Computer Science programs, and help them understand the benefits of the field.
The workshop, titled "Tips and Tools for Scientific Research Success," took place at the Cambridge lab in the UK last month. According to Microsoft, fewer than 3 percent of the UK's over 400 thousand higher education graduates in 2013 received computer science degrees. In fact, women only accounted for 17 percent of that figure.
"Following the example of successful programs created by CRA-W Graduate Cohort and Future Science Leaders at Oxford University and the British Royal Society, the course aimed to educate attendees about Microsoft research tools, equip them with advice from experienced researchers about the opportunities of being an early-career researcher, and inspire them with examples from Microsoft Research that show the potential of computer science to change the world," Microsoft stated.
The workshop allowed participants to go hands-on with Microsoft Azure and even create WordPress blogs, as well as data-driven websites. Participants were also paired up with Microsoft Researchers in Cambridge, who were considered "informal coaches." They provided guidance and advice during the participant's first and second years of PhD study.
"A hands-on workshop to experience firsthand the mighty power of Microsoft Azure; an exciting lineup of talks discussing cutting-edge research; an inspiring induction to being skillful researchers; most importantly, an ever so valuable one-to-one interaction session with a mentor from Microsoft Research Cambridge. A truly interesting and thoroughly engaging event - a genuine inspiration to becoming champion researchers in Industry Research Labs," Kavin Narasimhan, PhD student at Queen Mary, University at London, stated.
Microsoft is looking to run another workshop this fall, so if you reside in the UK, send the company an email to show your interest. You can email [email protected]