Microsoft intern creates bridge between women in tech and future students in computer science

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A continuing problem in technology is the lack of women in the industry, but one Microsoft intern has taken the initiative to try to increase the presence of women in computing.

As described in the Microsoft Research Connections Blog, Ayna Agarwal, a student at Stanford University, co-founded she++, “a community that seeks to inspire women’s involvement in computer science.” Agarwal organized a robust conference on women in technology in April 2012 – Stanford’s first. More than 250 people attended to hear from a lineup of inspirational women engineers from companies such as Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Pinterest.

“I realized that my ignorance about computer science derived in large measure from the lack of role models sharing their stories,” Agarwal wrote in the blog about her change to this field from her original plan to be a vet. “So I created she++ to be a community of voices of those technologists: the ones who are breaking the boundaries and incorporating their interests into the field.”

One such voice is Rane Johnson-Stempson, principal research director for education at Microsoft Research Connections, who has made it her personal mission “to expose more young women to the professional opportunities in computer science.”

She joined Agarwal to co-host Reinventing Tech for the Next Generation—she++ and Microsoft Research, on Aug. 28. The event’s on-demand video is above, or you can watch it on Microsoft Research’s Videos.

Be sure to read the Microsoft Research Connections Blog to find out about some of the big strides Agarwal and Johnson-Stempson are taking to get more women interested in tech careers.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff