Narrowing the Gender Divide, Bridging the Digital Gap
Microsoft is on a mission to fulfill people's potential by providing Information Technology (IT) skills and knowledge. Working with local government offices and partners, Women Up, an initiative of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program, provides women with an invaluable opportunity to equip themselves with the necessary IT skills and knowledge to boost life-long learning and employment opportunities. Since the program’s inception in Taiwan six years ago, more than 60,000 women have been trained with the help of local government agencies.
To further promote this initiative, Microsoft Taiwan has recruited 600 of the project's recipients to serve as volunteers. They will be instrumental in imparting computer skills to even more women. Women Up has begun to bear fruit in many local communities, especially in the Hua-Xing Borough, where residents are used to attending organized activities such as yoga and tai-chi lessons. Since September 2011, all women in Hua-Xing have had the option to attend a 24-hour computer module, offered by Microsoft Taiwan and Council for Economic Planning and Development.
“With the Women Up program, I’ve learnt a lot about IT and it has made me more familiar with the Internet. It has even taught me how to use Facebook. I am now connected to the world,” said Wong, a female resident of Hua-Xing Borough.
As the project draws more attention to address the digital divide amongst genders, the Council has agreed to pledge more funds to Microsoft Taiwan’s project to train an additional 9,000 volunteers to boost and introduce Women Up to other communities.
Microsoft is one of the leading companies in Taiwan that has been instrumental in funding IT education for college students, women and indigenous residents for many years. Microsoft hopes to collaborate with more resources to expand the impact of these grants, and is recruiting more volunteers to help those who are trying to bridge this digital gap.
“With the Women Up program, I’ve learnt a lot about IT and it has made me more familiar with the internet. It has even taught me how to use Facebook. I am now connected to the world.”
- Wong, a female resident of Hua-Xing Borough