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Microsoft and DSCI to Tie up For Programme to Skill Women in Cybersecurity

The programme, spanning three years, will cover locations from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Telangana

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Microsoft
Hackers bleeding large Indian firms by $10 mn on average each year: Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)

Microsoft India on Monday partnered with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) to launch a programme aimed at fostering talent and building a pool of women cybersecurity professionals in the country.

As part of the three-year programme, called the “CyberShikshaa”, 1,000 women from underserved communities will be trained in ten locations across the country and offered employment opportunities.

Beginning on Monday, the first phase of the programme will be rolled out across Noida, Patna, Hyderabad and Mohali.

 “CyberShikshaa is significant in more ways than one. It will empower women technologists, ensure a growth driven livelihood for them and increase the participation of women in the industry,” Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said in a statement.

According to NASSCOM, the strength of the women workforce in the IT-ITeS industry currently stands at 34 per cent.

CyberShikshaa will develop a comprehensive ecosystem and evangelise women to harness the opportunities of cybersecurity as a career.

Microsoft Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, Pixabay

In addition to establishing a strong training network with competent trainers and infrastructure, it will work to facilitate partnerships amongst government, industry and academia.

“Cybersecurity skills development and enabling growth opportunities to women talent in cybersecurity domain is a key imperative for government and industry,” added Rama Vedashree, CEO at the DSCI

The CyberShikshaa curriculum will comprise an interactive, four-month training course with a combination of theory, case studies and practical hands on projects managed by a group of training partners led by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

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Open to women science graduates between the age of 20-27 years, it will also include mentoring sessions and workshops with industry leaders, soft skills training and technical sessions by Microsoft employee volunteers. Campus interviews will be organised for students on successful completion of the course.

The programme, spanning three years, will cover locations from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Telangana. (IANS)

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Melinda Gates Speaks About ‘Brash’ Microsoft Culture in her New Book ‘The Moment of Lift’

The book trails her life from Catholic school girl in Texas, to young tech leader at Microsoft; and from her private struggles as the wife of a dominating public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids

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melinda gates, microsoft, the moment of lift
Melinda Gates poses for a photo with her new book, "The Moment of Lift," in Kirkland, Wash., April 18, 2019. Her new book is a memoir from the former Microsoft tech business executive, outspoken feminist and public supporter of the MeToo movement. VOA

Looking back at her time as an early Microsoft employee, Melinda Gates said the brash culture at the famously tough, revolutionary tech company made her want to quit, but that she didn’t discuss it with her boyfriend, and later her husband, Bill Gates, the company CEO who embodied that culture.

“That wasn’t my job to do that at the time,” Gates said in an interview with The Associated Press, adding that she drew “bright lines” around the office and home in order to work there for nine years before she left to have children.

Her new book, “The Moment of Lift,” is a memoir and manifesto on women and power from the former tech business executive, outspoken feminist and public supporter of the #MeToo movement. The Associated Press reviewed an advanced copy of the book ahead of its release Tuesday. All book proceeds will be donated to charity.

microsoft, melinda gates, the moment of lift
Melinda Gates said the brash culture at the famously tough, revolutionary tech company made her want to quit. Pixabay

Missing from the memoir is how her relationship with Gates affected her experience at Microsoft. And she said it’s difficult to look back to 30 years ago to say how things might be different today if he had made a move on an employee at work, back when the company was 1% of its current size.

“It’s impossible to project how that was different,” she said. Gates didn’t say in the interview if she ever had doubts about starting a relationship with her company CEO.

The book trails her life from Catholic school girl in Texas, to young tech leader at Microsoft; and from her private struggles as the wife of a dominating public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids, to finding her professional purpose as a champion of women through venture capital and philanthropy.

The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $50 billion endowment makes it the world’s largest private foundation. Much of its resources are spent on global health and development, which informed the many academic interpretations of world poverty issues that make up the majority of the book. Illustrated by vivid, heartbreaking anecdotes on how those problems cause death and suffering, it is told from her extraordinary perch as one of the world’s richest people.

microsoft, melinda gates, the moment of lift
Missing from the memoir is how her relationship with Gates affected her experience at Microsoft. VOA

And it’s also part celebrity memoir that delves into her personal life. She won Bill Gates’ heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game. Their children enrolled in school under her maiden name, “French,” to give them anonymity. At a time when she was still discovering how gender roles were engrained in her, he offered to do school drop-offs, which then influenced other fathers to take on the task.

On women and power, Gates outlines her agenda tackling poverty in developing nations and evolution from reluctant to proud feminist pushing for equality in the American workplace after a largely positive but also at times frustrating experience at Microsoft.

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Melinda Gates said she learned to adapt by being herself despite Microsoft’s abrasive style because she loved the work while she was there in the 1980s and 1990s. She said she recruited some of the best in the company who appreciated her kinder leadership style.

She also describes how the couple evolved to become more and more equal since starting the foundation together in 2000. She gives Gates feedback often and is adamant about creating a collaborative culture at their powerful nonprofit. “Bill and I are equal partners,” Melinda Gates said. “Men and women should be equal at work.” (VOA)