31
Jul

Girls Who Code Launches Free In-School Resource to Promote Women’s Representation in Technology

Organization leading efforts to close the gender gap in tech continues pioneering work to promote diversity, inspire girls and women

July 31, 2018 (New York, NY) — Girls Who Code, the national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, today announced the nationwide launch of Women in Tech lesson plans. The lesson plans, designed in alignment with multi-disciplinary learning standards, profile historical and contemporary women in tech.

Girls Who Code celebrated the organization’s first in-school resource with a launch event hosted by Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani on the steps of New York City Hall. Saujani was joined by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

“Girls deserve a chance to see themselves reflected in their curriculums,” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani. “We’re proud to launch our Women in Tech Lesson Plans this year to help change the idea of what a coder looks like and does. You can’t be what you can’t see. These free, downloadable lesson plans will give teachers and students alike the chance to learn about diverse role models in science and technology.”

One of the primary challenges that girls face in pursuing computer science as a career is a lack of female role models. In a study by Stanford professor Raj Chetty, research confirms that if girls are as exposed to female inventors as boys are to male inventors, female innovation rates would rise by 164 percent and the gender gap in innovation would fall by 55 percent. According to a report done in partnership by Accenture and Girls Who Code, introducing girls to computing earlier means they are more likely to show interest in computing throughout their high school and college years.

“Tech jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, yet girls are being shut out of the industry,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “Less than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women, and if we want New York City to have a strong diverse workforce in the future, we must ensure computer science programs are accessible to girls. This new tool is a free resource for teachers and students in New York City and across the country, and I hope to see it in as many classrooms as possible. Thank you to Girls Who Code for creating this program that not only brings us closer to closing the gender gap in tech but empowers the next generation of girls to be leaders.”

“Each time I struggled with code, or felt pressure from the class’s abysmal gender ratio, I remembered Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and the impact women like them had on the world around us,” said 2015 Girls Who Code alumnae Kemi Akenzua. “I’m so glad these lessons plans are being made so widely available. They will bring more girls into coding, and the world needs that. Girls who are smart, driven, creative, thoughtful, and empowered, and want to make an impact on their communities.”

Girls Who Code Women in Tech lesson plans are available to teachers for the 2018-19 school year online at https://girlswhocode.com/women-in-tech-lessonplans/.

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About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached over 90,000 girls in all 50 states and several US territories. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com.