|1 March 2016|

Scotland

A pioneering role model programme to encourage more girls to challenge convention and pursue digital careers launches today at Microsoft’s Scottish HQ.

The three-day Girls into Digital World programme of activities is designed to inspire and engage teenage girls in Scotland to take up digital careers, and runs in Edinburgh from 15-17 March 2016.

A group of 36 girls chosen from across Edinburgh will participate in the programme of visits, talks with role models, and ‘hands on’ activities with employers. The new initiative will be run by Skills Development Scotland with partners Microsoft, Standard Life, Edinburgh College and Heriot Watt University.

Girls into Digital World aims to show participants that a career in digital technology is one they can identify with and see as a serious option. As well as introducing the group to inspirational women in tech, it will also give them the chance to experience a day in the life of a technology professional.

Annabelle Ewing, Scottish Government Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, said: “Scotland’s workforce is benefiting from initiatives like Girls into Digital World which dismisses outdated notions linking gender to jobs and proactively creates positive new ways into our successful industries. Projects like this which link to employers can make a big difference in showing the range of opportunities on offer, particularly in sectors which have so much potential for growth, and reinforce how businesses benefit from bringing on talented young staff.”

Steven Grier, Microsoft country manager for Scotland, added: “Working directly with schools and showing young people what a career in digital technology could offer them is a really powerful way for businesses to keep both girls and boys engaged in computing. We are delighted to be supporting Girls into Digital World and hope that we can inspire the group to continue on the path to becoming digital professionals.”

The programme is part of Digital World, an initiative to promote careers in the digital technology industry, which has been developed by the sector in partnership with Skills Development Scotland.