Microsoft CVP and head of Halo maker 343 Industries Bonnie Ross has taken us behind the scenes on how she secured her role in the industry.
In a post on the studio's website, Ross says that she would not have ended up where she is today without her father encouraging her to engage with science and engineering during her education.
She writes that 31 per cent of girls in US middle school feel that STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) are "not for them", a figure that rises to 40 per cent by the time high school. By the time girls reach college that figure climbs almost a fifth to 58 per cent.
But there is a greater demand for women in tech than ever before, with 1.4m roles in the United States alone demanding technical expertise. Only 400,000 of these jobs can be filled from within America, based on a skillset shortage.
Furthermore, a diverse workforce has a positive effect on the overall product.
Ross says it's vital that it's highlighted to girls and women that STEM subjects are for them.
"Girls often leave STEM because they don’t understand the potential and opportunities a technology or engineering degree can provide," she wrote.
"91 per cent of girls say that they’re creative and 72 per cent say it’s important that they have a job that helps the world, so I’m sharing my story to show that they can achieve both of those goals with a STEM qualification. As a parent or educator, you can do the same. Seek and tell the computer science story. When girls learn about real-world STEM jobs, their perception of the creativity and positive impact of STEM double. Coding is the fabric of our modern lives, built on and technology, and continues to shape and improve our world. Let her know she can define, drive and be that change."
She continued: "Technology is the most powerful and the most creative tool we have today to create impact; to change and improve the world. Join me in raising the next generation of world-builders and world-changers. Connect the dots and be a mentor for the girls and young women in your life. Please share your story, my story, share the #SheCanStem videos and inspire the next generation. #MakeWhatsNext."