DigiGirlz event in Kingsport showcases IT careers to young women in high school

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- A global event is coming to Kingsport Friday. “DigiGirlz” is hosted by Microsoft, Eastman, and Northeast State Community College showcasing jobs in information technology to high school girls.

High school girls interested in careers in technology can come to get hands on experience and talk with women in the IT field at places like Eastman and Microsoft.

According to event organizers, the percentage of women with careers in the information technology field has gone down dramatically in the past 20 years. In 1991, more than 35 percent of professionals in IT were women. By 2009, that percentage was down to 25 percent.

“If half the talent isn’t even considering those fields you automatically have decreased your diversity by default, and these are great careers,” Karen Chastin, IT Service Manger with Eastman said.

Microsoft started DigiGirlz in 2000 to show young women around the world technology programs and interactive experiences.

We talked with a Kingsport high school student going to the event. “I think it will help a lot of girls get more interested into the field and have them realize it’s not just for a certain gender, that all people can do it,” Kingsport 9th grader Amber Dason said.

“The girls have a chance to do hands-on technical classroom type experiences but also mentoring experiences to talk to women who have gone into the information technology field,” Chastin said.

This is the sixth year DigiGirlz has been in Kingsport.

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