Microsoft sponsors first International Women's Hackathon

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its Imagine Cup 2013 student competition would add two more categories designed specifically to address issues related to women. This weekend, Microsoft continues to encourage women to enter into computing and technology fields by helping to sponsor the first International Women's Hackathon.

In a post on Microsoft's official blog, Rane Johnson-Stempson of Microsoft Research writes about why the company wanted to help launch this effort. She states that she has heard from young women who have expressed reluctance to enter hackathons and other technology competitions. She adds:

This is why we are launching this International Women’s Hackathon: to help young women build their confidence, their capabilities, and their networks and to help them see that they can have a significant impact in the world through computing.

The International Women's Hackathon runs from today through Sunday in a number of different schools all over the world. The women who enter the competition will work to make mobile, web, and game applications that will be designed to address social issues specifically for women.

One of the themes of the hackathon is to develop ways to combat human trafficking of women. Johnson-Stempson says that while the Internet is used to cloak the activities of the people involved in these illegal activities, the women who participate in the hackathon this weekend will be asked to see if they can use computing to " ... build solutions to help victims of human trafficking get out of exploitative situations and help ensure that younger girls do not fall prey to the same exploitation."

Source: Microsoft blog | Image via Microsoft

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> One of the themes of the hackathon is to develop ways to combat human trafficking of women.

What are they smoking? Who is buying this shiт?

MS should hold a men only hackathon, i doubt they would be getting good headlines on the internet if they did #equalrights??? more like #UnequalRightsInFavourOfWomen

lol. This type of stuff gets me every time. "We are all equal! Except...can I get my own event/group/laws that single us out as different?"

I know its not the women that put this on. It was probably the genius of a suit with a corner office. Its just that whole corporate/political push to elevate minorities as "equal to everyone else" by implementing policies that encourage ideas that they are not equal, and can be catered to with infantile gestures.

MikeInBA said,
lol. This type of stuff gets me every time. "We are all equal! Except...can I get my own event/group/laws that single us out as different?"

I know its not the women that put this on. It was probably the genius of a suit with a corner office. Its just that whole corporate/political push to elevate minorities as "equal to everyone else" by implementing policies that encourage ideas that they are not equal, and can be catered to with infantile gestures.

I agree.

As a developer myself, I have never understood the need to help build women's confidence as developers. I have never once seen that as a problem any different to what many introverted men suffer.

The problem that I have seen is that women are not encouraged to do CS because it's nerdy, which is something that geeky boys are only supposed to do because there were no toys encouraging it for girls as they grew up, unless they were tomboys. At young ages, they need to find ways to encourage girls to do engineering-like things. That is the only way that they will want to do it when they get older.

As babies, we start off playing with the same learning-related toys. I don't understand why someone has not figured out how to keep that going. Make identical toys that simply target genders as kids start to realize why they're different.

Maybe the problem is that we're all too busy waiting on someone else to do it for us. One day, I will have kids. Maybe I will become rich doing it . Probably not though.

I find your comment funny...

With the PS4 launch event, Sony got (stupidly) criticised for not having any females on stage at all. Which is purely because all the people in high places at Sony and most game development companies are nearly always men, as this type of stuff attracts guys.

But now, MS rightfully try and get women more interested in computing and they get criticised.

No matter what you do people will always complain.

1Pixel said,
I find your comment funny...

With the PS4 launch event, Sony got (stupidly) criticised for not having any females on stage at all. Which is purely because all the people in high places at Sony and most game development companies are nearly always men, as this type of stuff attracts guys.

But now, MS rightfully try and get women more interested in computing and they get criticised.

No matter what you do people will always complain.

Stop complaining about people complaining. /s

MikeInBA said,
lol. This type of stuff gets me every time. "We are all equal! Except...can I get my own event/group/laws that single us out as different?"

I know its not the women that put this on. It was probably the genius of a suit with a corner office. Its just that whole corporate/political push to elevate minorities as "equal to everyone else" by implementing policies that encourage ideas that they are not equal, and can be catered to with infantile gestures.

Well said. It's the same with large companies here is Aus. They say "We aim to get 50% of our new employees as females". I MEAN WTF. The ration of people trying to get into the job positions are like 100 men to 1 woman yet they think that making it so the people are defined by gender somehow how brings gender equality... Some people are so so stupid. All this does is promote discrimination and polarises people by their gender...