On Thursday, Feb. 18, sixty 8th and 9th grade female students participated in Sacramento’s first DigiGirlz Day – a day intended to encourage middle school girls to consider careers in technology fields. The Mayor’s office, City of Sacramento Information Technology Department, Microsoft and the Greater Sacramento Urban League sponsored the event.

“We are committed to creating more opportunities and training for women and girls in the STEM fields, so they will be well positioned to fill the jobs of the future,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson.

The Mayor’s office worked with school administrators to recruit students while IT staff worked with Microsoft to develop a curriculum. City and Microsoft IT professionals teamed up to lead hands-on activities, creative presentations, provide career advice and mentor, and a session on learning to write computer code.

Last year, the City and Microsoft signed a Digital Alliance, pledging to work together to provide technology training specifically to women and girls (source: softwarekeep.ca). DigiGirlz Day reflects the City and Microsoft’s efforts to better prepare young girls for their future careers.

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“We continue to see that when students have access to foundational coding and computation skills at an early age, and are encouraged throughout their education and at home, they will continue to pursue STEM,” says Celeste Alleyne, Director, Microsoft Citizenship & Public Affairs.

The inaugural event was lauded as “amazing, fantastic, and fun” by its participants.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Technical Academy, PS7 Middle School, Sacramento High School, Natomas Middle School, Oak Park Prep and Science and Engineering School (SES) all participated in the event.