Ten female developers will participate in the first cohort of the Microsoft LEAP Program in Nigeria. They will recieve sixteen weeks of training in technical support software engineering roles.
This is part of Microsoft‘s plans to encourage diversity and inclusivity in software engineering roles in Nigeria. Microsoft LEAP has started in Nigeria with the intention of getting more females into technology. Princess Anya, Microsoft Business program Manager, Global talent Innovation in charge of Microsoft Leap Program West Africa, tells me.
The LEAP Engineering Acceleration Program is a Microsoft initiative that tries to increase diversity. Bringing more women into software engineering roles. By providing them with real world experience through development and project management apprenticeships with hands-on projects.
Speaking to me about the program, Princess Anya, shares that the ladies will undergo four weeks of classroom and labs training. After which they will proceed to do twelve weeks of hands-on project sessions. Where they handle projects with guidance from mentors.
At the end of the 16 weeks LEAP apprenticeship program, the ladies will join Microsoft partner Tek Experts as full time employees. Where they will work as support Software Engineers, supporting customers with Microsoft Solutions.
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“Growing up as a woman in Kenya, there was a lack of female role models within STEM for me to engage with and learn from” says Wanjira Kamwere, program lead of WISE4Afrika. An initiative by Microsoft to inspire women to take up careers in technology. Microsoft through its 4Afrika engine is partnering with Strathmore University, Kenya to extend the WISE Mentoring Program into Africa.
WISE4Afrika, Wanjira Kamwere says is a manifestation of Mentors across Borders. An initiative pioneered by women tech leaders at the Microsoft India Development Centre and Microsoft Kenya.
WISE Mentoring Program
Women in Software Engineering (WISE), is an idea by women engineers working at Microsoft India. These software engineers wanted to help women engineering students shape out successful careers in technology. After a successful program in India, Microsoft decided to scale the program up by taking it global. As empowering women in technology is a global issue.
Microsoft shares that 30 female students are receiving coaching from fellow female engineers and executives. Over nine months the students will recieve in-person and virtual training and coaching. Taking them through trainings on how to leverage AI and Machine Learning to build solutions. As well as learn to contribute to open source projects, participate in hackathons and submit proposals for papers and posters at conferences.
Wanjira Kamwere says that WISE4Afrika is currently running in only Strathmore University. However Microsoft hopes to follow an approach of starting small, learning, improving and then scaling the program to other African countries.
WISE Mentoring Program is one of the several initiatives by Microsoft in the region to encourage diversity and inclusion. Some others include the LEAP Hackathon program and Codess Kenya. “We are collectively supporting a culture where more women are attracted to careers in technology” she says.
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Codess a Microsoft Women event is headed to Kenya with the first event taking place Tuesday, April 16, 2019. From 10 am at the Strathmore University campus in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event invitation reads;
Codess is coming to Kenya! You’re invited to network and hear from an inspiring panel of senior technical women. The event will be a great chance to meet new people, learn from one another and empower each other to think big every day!
Codess is an initiative by women at Microsoft. A community dedicated to sharing the stories of women in technology to promote gender diversity in the engineering field.
It aims to inspire female coders and help them achieve their professional goals. That is through networking events, mentoring, and sharing advice and experiences.
Women at Microsoft programs focus on sparking girls’ interest in technology careers and supporting women-focused initiatives and organizations.