25
Sep

Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani and First Lady of Pennsylvania Frances Wolf Host Event Celebrating State’s Commitment to Tech Education for Girls

Pennsylvania will be the first state to promote the non-profit’s Women in Tech Lesson Plans and to track and report gender participation data for computer science classrooms

September 25th, 2018 (Philadelphia, PA) — Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani and First Lady of Pennsylvania Frances Wolf will today visit the William D. Kelley School school to celebrate Pennsylvania’s commitment to promoting Women in Tech lesson plans and publishing gender participation data for computer science classrooms to increase to girls’ participation in tech. Pennsylvania will be the first state to promote the lesson plans and to commit to tracking diversity data in computer science classrooms.

“It’s time that we prepare our students – specifically, our girls – for the future of work,” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani. “With more partnerships at the state level, we can do just that – expand opportunity to the highest-paying jobs, eliminate the gender gap in tech, and create a generation of young women technologists. We are grateful to Governor Wolf and the First Lady for their support of our work and commitment to girls in computer science.”

Girls Who Code celebrated the organization’s first in-school resource with a launch event in New York in July. The Lesson Plans have since been downloaded by more than 2,000 teachers and advocates across the country.

“Last year, twice as many boys took computer science courses as girls – yet over the next 10 years, 70 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills,” the First Lady said. “Girls Who Code is leading the way in closing the gender gap in technology across the country, including right here in Pennsylvania. PAsmart will help to expand this work by giving even more students the opportunity to earn a quality STEM education. Together I know that we can make sure that the next decade tells a different story than the many before – one where barriers give way to opportunity and your gender, background or zip code does not determine your destiny.”

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.

“We are always looking to enhance and improve the digital learning experiences we provide students throughout the School District of Philadelphia,” said Melanie Harris, Chief Information Officer of the School District of Philadelphia. “Ensuring that our students have access to quality STEM programming is so important because it allows them to learn how to think critically and problem-solve. We are excited to partner with Girls Who Code to help develop our next generation of thinkers and leaders in Philadelphia.”

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, College Loops program and 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.