n47027341816_4543I guess I am quite fortunate to have been involved in a lot of Diversity events since joining Microsoft. Supporting Women working in IT is something that I am passionate about so I am always on the lookout for things that we are doing internally & externally that I can help out with. I was very lucky to attend the first Women Build Lego Serious Play event which was run at PDC in LA last year, and now I have just completed the facilitator training for these events while in Seattle. I am now working with the team that built this program to bring it back to Australia soon which I am really excited about (but more info on that later).

While I was at the first Women Build event I heard about a program called iGive. I didn’t really know what it was and hate to admit it, but in all the excitement of PDC, I forgot all about it. This time in Seattle though, I did a bit more investigation, asked a few more questions, and then jumped whole heartedly onto the bandwagon!

Basically, iGive is an outreach program created by the Microsoft Developer Platform & Evangelism (DPE) Team (which makes me even more proud to be in this team) to raise money for various charities by trading donations for limited edition shirts (and yes the Microsoft logo is in real Swarovski crystals).

It originally kicked off in March 2008 with proceeds going towards the YWCA. YWCA organization’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA helps build strong women leaders and serves as an advocate for women's rights and civil rights in Congress. 

The goal is to raise awareness and support charities during events that Microsoft is involved with. So far these shirts have been available at Mix08, SXSW, Financial Services Developer Conference 08, Tech Ready 7, Grace Hopper, PDC, DigiGirlz and now most recently at Tech Ready 8.

Since its launch, there have been campaigns that raise money for YWCA, Mona Foundation, Fields of Life & the Boys & Girls Club.

InShirtThe shirts are available in the following colours & with the following Themes

01 (pink) in honor of National Women's History Month {iGive=y};

02 (pink) in honor of National Women's History Month {iGive=y};

03 (green) in Honor of Independence Month {iGive=m};

04 (light Blue) in Honor of educating our youth {iGive=b+g};

05 (sherbert orange) in Honor of tomorrows women {iGive=y};

I know I have been adamant about not wearing Microsoft Branded clothing for some time, but this idea is something I really love! I got one of the 03 series which supports the Mona Foundation.