Opportunity and Advancement in the Quantum Workforce, A Microsoft Success Story

A Microsoft quantum leader explains how she rose through the ranks at Microsoft and how to get a job in the hottest emerging tech field

Excerpts and salient points ~

+  Julie Love is one of the top names inside Microsoft. And what she works on is so technologically challenging, even Bill Gates has said it’s beyond his comprehension.  Love helps run Microsoft’s emerging quantum computing business as the group’s senior director of business development. She was one of just five women physicists graduating in the discipline’s class of 50 as an undergrad at MIT.

It’s hard to give a timeline, Love said, of when quantum computing will become more tangible – but there are career opportunities in the space right now.

+  Love grew up in Nebraska and went to an all-girls Catholic school. By the time she completed her doctorate, she didn’t have a defined career path.

“I left not really knowing what else to do,” she said. “There weren’t a lot of jobs in quantum computing.”

+  Love first worked out of Yale University, where she completed her Ph.D., as a quantum physicist before landing a job in semiconductor manufacturing at McKinsey, ultimately taking her into the corporate world, then to Adobe and Microsoft. This is her second stint at Microsoft, and she also advises quantum startups.  Now, there are far more pathways to quantum computing jobs.

+  A crucial part of quantum computing, like any technology, will be including diverse backgrounds in its development. Engaging diverse employees is not only more equitable, but it improves the quality of the technology. Some facial recognition software built by mostly white engineers, for example, has failed to recognise black faces.  “We are baking bias into the system by not having women have a seat at the table and not having people of colour at the table,”Melinda Gates, who is an advocate for getting more women into engineering, has said of emerging technology like AI.

+  While Love said almost half of the people on Microsoft’s quantum software leadership are women, the company – much like the tech industry in general – still employs comparatively few women and people of colour in technical roles.  Love said it’s the company’s responsibility, and her own personally, to make quantum computing accessible to all. 

Source:  BUSINESS INSIDER AUSTRALIA.  Ashley Stewart, Alyson Shontell,  A Microsoft quantum leader explains how she rose through the ranks at Microsoft and how to get a job in the hottest emerging tech field…

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