DigiGirlz – Women in STEM

On October 3, 2017, in Events, St. Louis Business Community, by Walker News

Volunteers at the St. Louis Digigirlz Event

On September 26, 2017, Microsoft hosted an event at the St. Louis Science Center called DigiGirlz, which is a Microsoft YouthSpark program. Microsoft states that DigiGirlz “gives high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.” Throughout the day, the girls had the opportunity to listen to women who are technology executives, participate in technology tours and demonstrations, network, and learn with hands-on experience in workshops. The workshops gave the girls an opportunity to work in groups and created wearable devices that solved a specific problem.

The event had a great turnout, including 165 girls, 51 schools, 32 chaperones, 42 invited guests, and 45 Microsoft volunteers. Several Gorloks from the Walker School of Business & Technology made an appearance and an impact. The women of Webster who attended include: Simone Cummings, Dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology, Martha Smith, Chair of the Mathematics & Computer Science Department, Tanja Vidic, Jasmine Lich, and Jennifer Brainerd who are undergraduates from the Computer Science department, and Katy Meyer, Graduate Assistant for the Walker School and International Relations (MA), ’18. These women were invited to the event by Webster alum, Chad Lich, Computer Science (BS) who now works for Microsoft. Dr. Cummings said that she was proud to extend the support of the Walker School because, “I’m interested in helping girls learn more about careers in business and STEM fields.”

DigiGirlz by Microsoft

During a portion of the day called “Women in Technology Networking Session,” Webster’s volunteers had the opportunity to eat lunch with the young girls and talk about how to market themselves and work on personal branding. They talked about what they wanted to be known for and how they could accomplish that goal. The volunteers worked as personal mentors to the girls that they spoke with, and helpedto guide them based on their passions and interests. Meyer’s advice to her table was to encourage them to pursue their passions, but be open to change. The other women also provided advice on how to work on their goals and become the women they want to be. Dean Cummings said, “We were all asked to tell the girls something we wanted them to know going forward.  I told the girls at my table that the one pearl of wisdom I would give would be to develop a plan for moving forward because if you don’t have a plan, it’s really difficult to achieve your goals.”

The women from Webster were proud to represent the Walker School, offering perspective to young girls looking to join STEM careers, and they hope to see more events like this in the future.