http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/aug07/08-15digigirlz.mspx?rss_fdn=Top+Stories Hot off the press August 15, 2007
Microsoft was a natural to lead this initiative as part of their overall program for "Diversity and Inclusion" and have been doing so since 2000. The new site is a welcome addition and the content includes expected features such as photos and an explanation of the program but an unexpected find was a few pod casts and surprisingly they offer the camp in a one day and multi day format. This is a great way to reach as many girls as possible.
I happen to know for a fact that the listed camps on this site aren't the only ones taking place. In fact in a blog coming later tonight I will post information on the Digi Girlz camp run in the UK with the participation of none other than Eileen Brown. I also know Canada has hosted one out of Mississauga and I am hoping to track down camps in other regions of the world (if you know o one please contact me).
All in all their approach is on IT only (well its what they do best!!) but I loved their methodology of allowing girls to actually shadow a high profile employee for a day, meet with younger IT staff AND interns which gives them people they can truly relate to.
The most moving testimonial to the human compassion of women in IT and lessons that were learned by all was the story of Laurie Logan who had suffered a debilitating heart attack and had to relearn the most basic things in life. After starting her own amazing she attended the camp and not only did she learn how much Microsoft goes out of their way to create accessibility for everyone, she also had a profound affect on other camp attendees and ended up testing Vista speech software that turned into free software to help her in her mandate to assist others through her publication. In fact I was so busy at WPC I didn't have the opportunity to attend anything that featured Allison Watson BUT I am positive I saw Allison with Laurie at WPC or it was definitely mentioned in one of her presentations. Talk about making people with disabilities feel special. But I'm not surprised. Don't forget, its women leading the way.... Microsoft women
and they DO CARE!