This Heart Touching Video Shows Where The Women In Tech Problem Starts

Sure, you've heard of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, but what about Martha Coston, Mary Anderson, and Sarah Mather? Those are the women who, respectively, invented the signal flare, windshield wipers, and the underwater telescope. Don't feel guilty — we hadn't heard of these female inventors either, before Microsoft brought them to our attention in a video launched today to promote its new "Make What's Next" campaign.

In honor of International Women's Day, the campaign highlights the main problem surrounding the gender gap in tech: education. We know about famous male creators, but our knowledge of the women who have spearheaded the development of things such as the computer algorithm and satellite propulsion (Ada Lovelace and Yvonne Brill, for the record), remains limited, to say the least. On top of raising awareness about female inventors, the Make What's Next campaign offers coding tools and tutorials, as well as a patent program to help female inventors file for patent pending status.

"When I look at how we get more women into tech, it's about education and providing girls with access to people who can talk to them about what it's like to be in the industry," says Kiki Wolfkill, the executive producer of Microsoft's Halo games.

Wolfkill says that initially, she wasn't sure technology was something she'd be able to do. After minoring in fine art in college, the designer was hired by Microsoft to work on cinematic art for the company's PC games. That job eventually led her to head up Halo 4 and 5, two of the most popular and hotly anticipated video games in recent years.

"When I came into Microsoft, there were two other women in my group, which I think was unusual at the time," Wolfkill says. "That defined how I think about teams and has made it very natural for me to bring other women onto my teams."

But how do we get more women to apply for those teams in the first place? By making sure they know that tech is something they can learn and excel at, whether they're designing for games, writing code, or inventing an entirely new technology.

Take a look at the moving video below — it might just inspire you to get involved.


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