Following the success of Microsoft’s GirlSpark Camp in Hong Kong in the past two years, the third edition was held this year in collaboration with The Women’s Foundation and Ivey Business School.
The goal was to inspire talented female university students from seven universities studying different disciplines to join the ICT industry.
Microsoft said the company worked with leaders from the public sector, business and tech industry, non-profitable and entrepreneurial community to create a valuable learning experience for future female leaders during the weekend event.
“Over 40% of GirlSpark alumni who attained a job after graduation joined the ICT industry,” said Horace Chow, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong. “However, there is still a lot of work to be done in solving gender diversity and talent shortage issues in ICT. Microsoft hopes to raise public awareness and will lead the way in solving these issues.”
At the camp, participants took part in leadership forums, networking opportunities, and career coaching sessions led by innovative leaders from across different industries. The tech industry leaders shared their experiences working in the ICT industry and judged the business case challenges, providing participants with the opportunity to solve real world problems and to receive feedback from industry experts.
This year’s GirlSpark Camp introduced new internship and job placement opportunities at top companies. Over 20 internship and development opportunities with Microsoft and program partners will be offered to participants. These opportunities range from summer internship positions to full-time jobs with mentorship support.
“In Hong Kong, despite HK universities having equal numbers of male and female graduates, men still outnumber women in the STEM subjects, and later on, in the workforce in the tech sector,” said Su-Mei Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of The Women’s Foundation.
“The reasons for this are numerous, from schools and parents not encouraging girls to pursue science and math, to a lack of exposure to female role models, to girls feeling uncomfortable with tech-related male-dominated learning and work environments.