BCIT Computing worked with Microsoft for the second year in a row to offer DigiGirlz Day to 75 metro Vancouver girls.
The one-day event aims to increase the number of girls considering technical careers in an effort to address the ongoing gender imbalance in the sector. Girls try their hands at coding, get to know what it’s like to build computer games, and learn about the wide range of jobs in the sector.
BCIT Computing instructor Carly Orr and Computer Information Technology (CIT) diploma students Joti Lalli and Liz Kundilivskaya led a session in app-building – students created their own app to showcase a favourite movie or TV show.
Joti and Liz also showed students the apps they’d built while at BCIT, and described their own paths to computing careers.
Students lunched while asking questions of career panelists including (in order of photograph below):
- Hana Doubrava, Microsoft Corporate Affairs Lead for BC
- Nicole Fawcette, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Xbox
- Bethany Edmunds, BCIT Computing CIT Program Head
- Barb Berg, Microsoft Canada Director of Public Sector for Western Canada
- Irene Chen, Microsoft Garage Intern
- Charla Pereira, Microsoft HoloLens Senior Design Lead
Bethany and Carly also spoke to metro Vancouver high school teachers, who were chaperoning some of the girls, about challenges and opportunities in teaching IT in local high schools, and discussed further support teachers might need from the post-secondary sector to integrate more computer science in school curriculum.
Girls were treated to a chance to see what HoloLens – Microsoft’s impressive holographic headset – can do, and a few even tried it on.
Participants also got a sneak peek at Microsoft’s great new space above Pacific Centre – stay tuned to see what kind of exciting developments come out of the newly completed Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre.
See more photos of the day here.