Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella banks on gaming to counter gender-bias in STEM education

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 25, 2020 Published on February 25, 2020

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday said that gaming can be a great way to encourage young girls to pursue Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

“It is so great to see that through gaming, people get attracted to STEM education,” Nadella said at Microsoft’s Future Decoded Tech Summit in Bengaluru today where he was delivering the keynote.

Nadella ended his keynote speech with the example of Punjab’s 13-year old Namya Joshi who has designed a series of learning programs for STEM-based on one of Microsoft’s most popular video games, Minecraft.

Nadella further elaborated upon how Minecraft has been driving young girls to explore Computer Engineering where there is an unconscious gender bias.

Nadella said, “Minecraft has turned out to become one of the most useful tools to attract young girls especially middle-school to computer science because the Computer Science curriculum has an unconscious bias today.”

“If we can sort of come up with these open worlds which are more inclusive, more inviting to all people and especially those young girls who are deciding whether to go into STEM or not. They look around them and they look at the class and there are not that many women in there, not many girls in there but you can sort of say, “Wow that’s a Minecraft class” and it’s got gender diversity and you get attracted to it. You go, learn out a program and then the world opens up,” he further said.

Nadella also emphasised upon ‘fueling tech intensity in India’ throughout his speech elaborating upon their end goal to help organizations achieve more through technology.

“How are we empowering every person and every organisation in India to achieve more? That is ultimately the test for us in terms of what we get to do here,” Nadella said.

The tech mogul aimed to inspire engineers to “do more” sharing this example.

The Microsoft CEO had also focused on the importance of gaming during is a conversation with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & MD, Reliance Industries at the Future Decoded CEO Summit in Mumbai yesterday.

Ambani had said that gaming in India could be a bigger opportunity than music and movies combined.

Nadella had also urged businessmen to focus on inclusivity at the centre of growth to further his point regarding diversity in tech.

“When you build tech intensity, you also have to consider how digital technology can drive a more inclusive economic growth,” Nadella had said in his keynote at the CEO summit.

In order to promote women in STEM, the Centre had announced its plans to launch to the 'Vigyan Jyoti' programme in 2019. The programme “targets to increase the representation of women in top reputed institutions like IITs. The Vigyan Jyoti scheme brings holistic science camp which imparts training to get into IITs and has many science institutions to partner in it,” the Ministry of Science and technology had said in an official press release.

Published on February 25, 2020
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