From playmakers to trailblazers, Microsoft is committed to empowering women across sports who are breaking new ground, shattering glass ceilings, and paving the way for other dreamers.
Meet a class of women who have cracked the formula for greatness, both within their sports and beyond. Find out how they’re using their work ethic, world view, and platform along with data and technology to change the game inside and out—and help other women and girls thrive.
I want to give young women, especially the young women that look like me, inspiration and courage to achieve their goals and never give up.
Run the numbers
Not only are these women’s incredible plays impressive, but also their numbers speak for themselves.
WNBA Crunch Time is game-changing moments quantified when it matters most. To identify a total Crunch Time performance rating, Microsoft Azure is used to analyze fourth quarter game plays to highlight players who have the greatest impact on their team’s chances of winning based on the time left on the clock. A’ja Wilson and Jewell Loyd know all about what it means to have impact that also goes well beyond the court.
A’ja Wilson is living out her dream as a forward with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and with the help of WNBA Crunch Time, she is able to acknowledge her incredible gameplay that takes into account her stamina, perseverance, and teamwork on the court.
Her success has also allowed her to dedicate more time off the court to endeavors that matter to her—particularly, building the A’ja Wilson Foundation as a resource for children and families who struggle with dyslexia, while changing school culture to prevent bullying through educational development, mentoring, and fostering inclusivity and compassion among their peers. With the support of Microsoft technology, A’ja is one step closer to making her dreams a reality.
A guard for the Seattle Storm, Jewell Loyd began her career in 2015 as the first WNBA draft pick and as Rookie of the Year. A disciple of Kobe Bryant, she founded the Mamba Army Series, a grassroots league dedicated to mentoring kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Jewell not only works to better others, but also to better herself. With a passion for data, Jewell works with her own data scientist to ensure she is at the top of her game.
Shatter the standard
Atlanta Dream believes the power of sport can change lives—and Microsoft is committed to helping us make that happen for girls and women in the great city of Atlanta where the power of representation, inclusivity and community matter.
After an accident resulting in the complete paralysis of her right arm, Kiana Clay began searching for ways she could continue her journey as an athlete. Through determination and creativity, alongside technology like the versatile Surface Pro with Pen and Microsoft Adaptive Accessories, Kiana designed and customized modified gear to better fit her needs.
Now, Kiana competes on the world’s stage as a pro adaptive athlete. Whether it’s through snowboarding, motocross, surfing, or skateboarding, she is constantly sketching out new ways to adapt her gear so that she can perform at her best.
Coco Gauff made history as a 15-year-old player who took tennis by storm after defeating Venus Williams in straight sets at Wimbledon in 2019. The teenager’s career has now reached its own break point—a transition from watching her childhood idols to beating them on the court. Now, she’s taking her game to the next level as she grows into her role as one of the sport’s fastest rising stars. To push her training even further, Coco has partnered with Microsoft to add something new to her routine: data analytics. Using Microsoft technology, Coco is using data to find an advantage against the competition and continue to push herself to the edge.
Parity is changing the game for women athletes
Parity, a minority-founded sports tech company, is on a mission to change the game for elite women athletes. Microsoft enables them to create more equitable partnership opportunities that also reveal the powerful stories behind these women athletes. With a vetted roster that shouts strength, diversity, and power, Parity makes clear how women athletes are an undeniable asset to the industry.
Microsoft Teams partnered with Parity to power intergenerational conversations between women athletes and their moms who paved the way. Watch their discussions on athletic role models, the progress of women in sports, their plans to make way for a new generation, and their diverse perspectives on a post-Title IX world.
Formula for greatness
“I enjoy a challenge and every day is a challenge here … I love the competitiveness and it’s nice to work in a company where everyone has the same end goal.” Elizabeth Apthorp’s job as Composite Design Engineer for BWT Alpine F1® Team is to design parts that go onto their race cars. Using Microsoft technology, she manages the production cycle of carbon fiber components such as the wing, mirrors, and driver seats. One of Elizabeth’s most memorable moments was being part of the team who delivered the chassis for the 2018 season, a process that requires months of design work, manufacturing, and FIA homologation crash tests.
Don’t be scared … the best advice I can give you is just be unapologetically you.
As Lead Data Scientist for Cloud9, one of the most successful esports organizations in the world, Halee Mason has found her calling and passion. But it wasn’t part of a grand plan—she got there through exploration, self-discovery, and a lot of hard work.