Girls Who Code expands to close the gender gap in technology

Girls Who Code Expands to Close the Gender Gap in Technology


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NEW YORK, NY–Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization that aims to inspire, educate and equip young women for futures in the computing-related fields, kicked off its 2014 Summer Immersion Program today in partnership with the world’s leading tech companies. The Summer Immersion Program will reach 380 high school girls across 19 classes in New York, Boston, Miami, Seattle and the Bay Area.

“From the middle school computer lab to the upper echelons of Silicon Valley, the tech world has been a boys club for too long,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “This Summer, with the support of our industry partners, Girls Who Code is addressing the gender gap head on by giving young women a positive experience with computer science that will impact their education and career decisions down the road.”

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is an intensive 7-week opportunity that pairs project-based computer science education with real-world tech industry exposure. Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm each day, teenage girls learn everything from mobile app development to programming robots in Python to front-end web design. They also work with female mentors and take field trips to start-ups where they meet employees and observe how computer science is utilized in different workplaces.

“Too often girls don’t pursue computer science because they’ve never been exposed to it, or they don’t see the impact it can make on the world,” Saujani continued. “By actually embedding classrooms in tech companies that create products girls use every day, we show them, ‘Look, you can do this. You can code this. This is a world that is open to you, and once you learn this skill set, the possibilities are endless.’”

Though just 0.4% of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science, 95% of 2013 Summer Immersion Program graduates say they are definitely or more likely to major in computer science after Girls Who Code.

Alumnae of Girls Who Code have already gone on to pursue computer science degrees at top universities like Harvard and UC Berkeley, secure paid technical internships working alongside professionals in the field, and even launch programs to teach girls around the world how to code.

Piloted in New York City in 2012 as a single summer program reaching 20 young women, Girls Who Code has grown to a national movement to create gender parity in the computing fields. Through its Summer Immersion Program and year-round, community-based Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization has reached nearly 1,000 middle school and high school girls to date and is poised to reach 3,000 by the end of 2014.

Key Facts about the Gender Gap in Tech

  • By 2020, the US Department of Labor predicts that 1.4 million jobs will be created in the computing related fields, but U.S. graduates are only on pace to filling 29% of them. At current rates, women educated in the US will fill just 3%.
  • In 1984, women earned 37% of all computer science bachelors degrees, but today that number has plummeted to 12%.
  • Though women make 85% of all consumer purchases, they make up just 25% of the computing workforce.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at girlswhocode.com.