Holly Boothroyd

Holly is a Microsoft Software Engineer who has worked on multiple globally released products including Paint 3D and Xbox, and now develops the virtual assistant Cortana for Windows.

In her role she collaborates closely with designers to create experiences that users love and will make them more productive. She is responsible for core client features and implementing the main look and feel of Cortana on Windows. Her code is currently on over 800 million devices world-wide!

Between developing applications, she an active advocate for diversity and inclusion for women in STEM. She is on the Technical Women at Microsoft Board and works with the Microsoft DigiGirlz team and external organizations like Code First: Girls and the STEMettes to empower women and help others realize their full-potential.

She co-led the creation of two DigiGirlz technical showcases where 100 young girls interacted with innovative Microsoft technologies (Paint 3D, HoloLens, and SwiftKey) to highlight the different roles in the technology industry. The schools rated the showcase as the “most valuable” aspect of the day, and was praised by Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK. Many girls stated they would now take STEM GSCEs and A-Levels.

She is a public speaker, mentor, and the creator of the Instagram page HerHelloWorld with over 10,000 followers that works to redefine public perception of technology careers and mentor new technologists.

Holly has a BSc (Hons) in Computing and Information Technology from the University of Surrey, where she was awarded the IBM Prize for Best Final Year Performance, IBM Prize for Excellent Placement Year Performance, and Best Placement Student of the Year for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science. Throughout her degree she was the VP of the Computing Society, a Computer Science Course Representative, a United States International Student Ambassador, and danced on the Advanced Competitive Ballet Team.