News & Press
Girls Who Code is thrilled to be partnering with Gild, which brings meritocracy to tech hiring through innovative recruiting technologies!
Here’s how it works: Gild will lend its powerful data science and proprietary algorithms to help identify top female software developers to serve as mentors and instructors for our coding courses. In turn, Girls who Code will be able to recruit the best of the best as possible instructors as we dramatically scale our programming nationwide in 2014 and beyond.
“Gild was founded with the vision to bring meritocracy to hiring,” said Sheeroy Desai, Co-Founder and CEO of Gild. “Our partnership with Girls Who Code aligns perfectly with our goal to help companies identify candidates based on their true skills. As Girls Who Code expands, we want to do whatever we can to help them prepare more women to enter the field of computer science, and so we’re putting our own data science and other resources at Girls Who Code’s disposal.”
Rockstar women in tech, watch out… Girls Who Code + Gild are looking for you!
Our friends at CA Technologies are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Mainframe by donating up to $50,000 to AWESOME organizations focused on STEM education. And guess what? Girls Who Code is one of them!
To support the campaign, all you have to do is click here, select Girls Who Code, and CA technologies will donate $1 to empower young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Once you’re done, share the link with a friend: http://www.ca.com/us/lpg/mainframe/mainframe-50/giving.aspx
You can vote once a day until March 13, so vote early and vote often. With your help we can raise $50,000 to close the gender gap in tech!
Intel’s HTML5 elves are donating $1 to Girls Who Code for every #GiftOfCode retweet this holiday season!
Click here to give the #GiftOfCode: html5hub.com/giftofcode/
Be Our Guest: The city’s schools system needs to prioritize Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education
Our students need to be prepared to compete for the 123 million STEM field jobs expected to be in demand by the year 2020.
By Marissa Shorenstein AND Reshma Saujani / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
More often than not, the jobs of today and tomorrow require advanced knowledge in science and technology. In fact, by 2020, the U.S. economy will demand 123 million high-skilled workers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math — a set of skills commonly called STEM.
Last summer, tucked in a conference room at G.E. headquarters, half a dozen robots burst into a mechanical but unmistakable rendition of the Harlem Shake, one of the hottest songs of the year. The machines were joined in the viral dance routine by their precocious programmers: 16- and 17-year-old girls from the Detroit area, all participating in Girls Who Code’s summer immersion program.
“Girls Who Code is a movement—we are changing the face of computer science.” —Joelle, 16
It has been a year of exciting programming growth for Girls Who Code. From a single program in New York City in 2012, we expanded to offer eight Summer Immersion Programs in five cities in 2013, and brought on nine generous corporate and foundation partners, including Twitter, Intel, Goldman Sachs, eBay, IAC, AT&T, GE, Cornell Tech, and the Knight Foundation, to fuel programmatic success. In collaboration with these partners we equipped 152 middle and high school girls with eight weeks of intensive classroom instruction in computer science, diverse exposure opportunities, and high-touch mentorship by the industry’s top female leaders.
Girls Who Code provided students with skills, exposure, and support by delivering the following across our eight summer 2013 programs:
- 2500+ hours of intensive classroom instruction on topics such as robotics, web design, mobile app development, entrepreneurship and more
- 250+ guest speakers ranging from Fortune 100 CEOs to female undergraduate students majoring in computer science
- Over 45 field trips to industry giants such as Google, Intel, Facebook, Twitter, and more
- Nearly 500 hours of mentoring with professional women to discuss career aspirations, educational goals and personal interests
As we expand our programs, Girls Who Code is investing deeply in monitoring and evaluation to assess the impact of our work—determining both which efforts are helping us achieve our mission of closing the gender gap in the technology sector and where we could make improvements. We collected a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data over the course of the summer using tools including surveys (for students, teachers, and parents), site visits, classroom observation, evaluation of student assignments, and interviews to understand how our programs are achieving our intended impact (or not). We engaged an independent, third party evaluator to work with our staff in support of this comprehensive effort and to analyze data coming out of our summer programs.
The results are remarkable:
- 95% of participants said they are definitely or more likely to consider a major / minor in computer science after participating in the Girls Who Code program.
- 99% of participants said they are considering pursuing a career in technology and 81% definitely intend to do so.
- 99% of participants believe that learning programming will help them get a good job.
- 94% of participants feel confident in their ability to use computers.
- 99% of participants said they would recommend Girls Who Code to other girls.
Across all indicators, girls report having a positive experience in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, and demonstrate increased confidence, awareness of opportunities in computing, and intention to pursue computing in the future. The girls developed a tangible community, which not only fostered their interest in CS and their confidence, but will also persist with them and provide needed support as they continue in the field. These successes, we found, were encouraged by the open-ended and hands-on nature of the Girls Who Code curriculum; students excelled when the opportunity to implement technology on problems of their own choosing. In just one summer, students developed not only technical skills but also a battery of non-technical skills including confidence and a deeper understanding of the computing field.
Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will feature lessons learned from this summer, additional metrics and outcomes, and how we’re using these learnings to make future Girls Who Code programs even more effective.
My It’s the Economy column on Sunday looks at why traditional economic incentives alone don’t seem to be enough to encourage more women (or men, for that matter) to go into highly lucrative computer science jobs, which can often provide great flexibility to boot.
Part of the issue, it seems, is exposure. Most people don’t come into contact with computer scientists or engineers in their daily lives, and don’t really understand what they do. American schools don’t do a great job of teaching computer science skills either.
When she was a little girl growing up in the Bronx, Nikki Allen dreamed of being a forensic scientist. As a teenager, she liked studying science in school, and she thought forensics offered a way to give back to her neighborhood. Not insignificant, the job also looked pretty cool — at least based on the many hours of “CSI” Allen had watched on TV with her aunt.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science. But American universities are on track to produce qualified graduates to fill less than a third of those jobs, and only a tiny number of the graduates we do produce are women. According to U.S. Department of Commerce, just one out of every seven engineers are in this country are women.
Last summer, as members of the Inaugural Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, we had a chance to visit the Gilt Groupe offices. Both of us instantly fell in love with the company! We both knew we wanted to work at Gilt the following summer, but of course, it was only a dream at the time. Kristen Titus, Girls Who Code’ Executive Director, and Ashley Gavin, Curriculum Director, along with the welcoming Gilt employees made it happen.
These past few weeks have been incredible for the two of us. We have been immersed in the world of tech, and have been learning things that most girls our age cannot. Being at Gilt Tech is the most fun we have ever had working. We have gotten to know the teams that we are spending time with. Nikita has been getting to know the Mobile Development sector of the company, and Diana is spending time with the Brand Acquisition team. Various people at the company have been teaching us about how Gilt works and the tech behind it. They have covered topics ranging from UX design to Databases. We, in turn, came up with an idea to create an app called Gilterella which incorporates the Gilt API and a weather API in order to put together a magical outfit for users with certain preferences. It has been really interesting to dive straight into a project and learn along the way. Ruxy and Nabila, our mentors, are always there to help us out and have been great role models for us. Although there is a lot of freedom being at Gilt, we have taken up responsibilities that we never would have acquired elsewhere. It’s not all about the long lunch breaks and the lifetime supply of m&ms. We recognize that we have work to accomplish and expectations to meet.
Before being at Gilt, we had already set our minds on becoming computer scientists. Gilt has taken us a step further and has shown us what we can do with our experience in computer science.
Diana: My experience at Gilt has really changed my perspective on my own abilities. I definitely see myself participating in Hackathons, pursuing a Computer Science degree, and even working in the tech sector at a company (in a couple of years of course).
–Nikita & Diana, GWC Class of 2012