Microsoft expands #MakeWhatsNext campaign to encourage women in STEM

Timed with International Women's Day 2017, Microsoft is expanding its #MakeWhatsNext campaign.

The campaign, which was launched last year, calls on girls to "Make What's Next" by pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of reasons girls tend to drop out of STEM, along with bringing attention to female role models in the field.

Microsoft has released a new video, titled "#MakeWhatsNext: Change the Odds." Its goal is to "challenge girls to stay in STEM so they are empowered to solve the problems they care about most, ranging from finding solutions to climate change to curing cancer," Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies, wrote in a blog post.

In conjunction with the #MakeWhatsNext campaign, Microsoft and LinkedIn have joined forces to launch a "Career Explorer" tool, which introduces girls to different STEM jobs that dovetail with their personal interests. The web tool asks users to click on specific interests, such as animals or environment, and displays relevant job areas — in this case, a wildlife biologist or an environmental restoration planner.

"Women's equal representation in the technology industry, and in all STEM fields, is not only a matter of fairness," Ms. Snapp wrote. "Our economies and our societies lose out when we fail to engage half of the world's brainpower in our engines of innovation. This trend will continue if we don't invest our time, energy and resources in a number of key areas."

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