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Under the Hood: Microsoft Australia

You Can't Read Culture. It's a Feeling.

Date: March 21, 2024

Location: Virtual

Quantum Women's event series Under the Hood is designed to foster professional connections in the quantum tech industry and empower female talent to land their dream jobs with dream teams.

On 21st March, we hosted a virtual session with Microsoft Australia.

The speakers shared their experiences, insights, and Microsoft's approach to diversity, career progression, and tackling challenges such as imposter syndrome.

  • Katie shared her career journey, transitioning from mathematics and computer science to becoming involved in quantum computing at Microsoft. She discussed Microsoft's long-term investment in quantum computing, focusing on the topological qubit architecture and partnerships for advancing quantum computing layers. She highlighted Microsoft's quantum team's work on quantum chemistry and material sciences, particularly through Azure Quantum Elements. She shared an example of a significant achievement where AI models helped discover a new battery material, showcasing the potential of integrating AI, high-performance computing, and quantum computing to solve global challenges.

  • Mimi shared her journey at Microsoft, from working on device-centric projects like the Microsoft Band and HoloLens to joining the Azure Quantum Elements team, focusing on provisioning HPC clusters for atomistic simulations. She highlighted the direct customer engagement and feedback as unique aspects of her current role, emphasizing the learning opportunities and challenges it presents.

  • Emma discussed her varied career path from aspiring zoologist to her current role at Microsoft, working with public sector customers on data and AI solutions. She emphasized the importance of policy integration with science and technology for societal benefits and shared insights on navigating career transitions, maintaining a positive mindset, and the value of diversity in problem-solving.

  • Elaine talked about her career trajectory, from electrical engineering and computer science to various roles within Microsoft, emphasizing lifelong learning and adaptability. She highlighted her involvement in the Superstars of STEM program and discussed the importance of gender diversity in STEM fields, sharing her journey through different teams at Microsoft and her engagement with quantum computing as an ambassador.

Throughout the session, the speakers addressed questions on career progression, Microsoft’s strategy to attract and retain women in STEM, the types of qualifications sought after, and personal strategies to overcome imposter syndrome, providing a comprehensive view of the diverse career opportunities, supportive culture, and the importance of resilience and continuous learning within Microsoft.

The goal with our Under the Hood series is to spark the creation of long-lasting relationships between employers and future quantum tech talent, introduce potential candidates to a wide range of career opportunities, provide a platform for employers to showcase their technology, people, and culture, and ultimately promote diversity and inclusion in the quantum tech industry.

Make sure you sign up to our mailing list so that you don't miss our next session!

Watch the recording here.

The QW Team.

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