Microsoft Contest Acknowledges Women in Business -- We make a practice of keeping up on what's happening in the Mac world, but some things still catch us off guard. It turns out that Microsoft has been running a contest aimed at acknowledging and promoting female entrepreneurs (and Microsoft Office X as well, of course). Although we were worried about it being a thinly veiled pseudo-beauty contest, Microsoft is pretty clear about how the point of picking "Ms. M.o.X.i.e." is to find a businesswoman who uses Macs and Microsoft Office in innovative ways. Encouraging women to start and run businesses is a worthy goal. Microsoft has picked 10 semifinalists from an undisclosed number of entries and is asking the Macintosh community to vote for three finalists until 29-Nov-02. Microsoft will then chose the eventual winner from the finalists by 04-Dec-02. We're a little depressed there are no minorities represented among the semifinalists; Microsoft wouldn't reveal the number of entrants to us, but our suspicion is that there simply weren't many applicants overall. The prize is real: $10,000 and a new iMac with Microsoft Office X.
If we were caught off guard at not having heard of the contest before now (it started in early October), we were shocked to learn that our friend and colleague Toby Malina was one of the semifinalists. We shouldn't have been surprised - Toby's a perfect example of the kind of person Microsoft is looking for: the senior field technician for One World Journeys (a company creating online wilderness expeditions with digital photojournalists), a freelance book author and editor, and co-founder and Technical Director of Avondale Media (a software training DVD company). She's a force of nature (and for those of you who pay attention to television, yes, her brother Joshua has had a small role on The West Wing recently). Although we won't say more than that we're voting for Toby, we do encourage you to vote after reading the bios of the semifinalists for great stories of women who have achieved success in the business world using Macs. [ACE]