07. 16. 2005
Microsoft engineer supergirl
10-year old Arfa Karim Randhawa, who last year became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, was treated to a VIP tour of the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, and a meetup with Bill Gates. What did she say to the tech imperialist and world's richest human? She criticized the unbalanced ratio of men and women on the campus.
"It should be balanced -- an equal amount of men and an equal amount of women."
Randhawa's observation could hardly be disputed, as 75% of Microsoft's employees are male. Gates' response was that it was sometimes difficult to get women interested in technology. She also asked why there were no children working. Reassuringly, Gates told her that while they were working at getting more women into the company, children should concentrate on school. I was slightly worried that this would start some sort of programming sweatshop, snatching little geniuses from their families, and putting them to work on Longhorn.
I hope Lawrence Summers (President of Harvard University where Randhawa hopes to attend college) hears this story. I think most people understand that there are some intrinsic differences in men and women but if all young girls were encouraged to pursue science like Arfa Randhawa has been, I bet only 50% of the employees of Microsoft would be men.
From Seattle PI.