When I set out to close the gender gap in tech, I said we could do it in a lifetime. Most people said I was naive, and maybe I was. I’d never run a non-profit. I didn’t know the first thing about being a CEO. I had no idea how to code.
But eight years later, Girls Who Code has 8,500 Clubs operating across the country and around the world. We’ve raised $100 million to close the gender gap in tech from partners and allies who are deeply committed to diversifying their workforces. And we’ve reached 500 million people with our campaigns, changing people’s perceptions about computer science.
In under a decade, Girls Who Code has solved the so-called “pipeline problem” and completely shifted the gender gap in K–12 computer science classrooms. We’ve reached so many girls that the graduating classes of top computer science colleges are closer to parity than they’ve been since the 1980s. And in the next seven years, we’ll have closed the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs.
This movement we started in a small, borrowed conference room in New York is well on its way to completely and totally transforming the industry. And we’re able to do all of this because we believe deeply that this work is as much about coding as it is about equity and diversity and opportunity.
Because we envision a world where girls have access to the highest-paying jobs in the market. Where they can’t imagine a workplace where their peers, mentors, bosses aren’t women who look like them. Where women thriving in tech is the norm, not the exception. That world is within reach. And together, we’ll get there.
GIRLS WHO CODE CLUBS
OF GIRLS SERVED COME
GROUPS IN TECH
When we set out to close the gender gap in tech, we knew we needed a grassroots-first model that we could scale quickly. We bet on facilitators, allies, libraries, community centers, neighbors, friends, family. And today, not a day goes by when there isn’t a Girls Who Code Club or program meeting. It’s remarkable.
GIRLS SERVED SINCE 2012
Girls Who Code has served 300,000 girls to date. And we know our signature Clubs program, serving girls from 3–12th grade, is making a difference. According to a groundbreaking report we released in 2019, in states with more girls served by our Clubs, computer science classrooms were closer to parity. In states with lower concentrations of girls served by our Clubs, K–12 computer science classrooms were further from parity.
STUDENTS AND ALUMNI BY SCHOOL YEAR
PROGRAMS BY MARKET IN THE U.S., CANADA, UNITED KINGDOM, AND INDIA 2012–2019
Girls Who Code changed my life. I found a new interest that eventually became a plan for a college major, and a new confidence in my ability to accomplish things because I want to, not because they are already easy.
In the last year, the number of Girls Who Code college-aged alumni grew from 30,000 to 80,000.
To put that in perspective, American universities graduate just 12,500 female computer science (CS) majors every year. We now have more than six times that number of alumni who are college-aged.
Our college-aged alumni are majoring in computer science and related fields at 15 times the national average. Our Black and Latinx college-aged alumni are majoring in CS and related fields at 16 times the national average.
It was my first academic setting that wasn’t discipline-oriented, but success-oriented. I was used to teachers talking down to you. Girls Who Code showed me what the classroom and education could be like.
We’ve never underestimated the power of culture, how stereotypes impact girls and young women. And that’s why we’ve been able to move the needle on this issue. Because we’re willing to work to change culture and combat stereotypes.
“BRAVE, NOT PERFECT”
In 2019, Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani released her international bestseller “Brave, Not Perfect” and re-launched a podcast by the same title. She has sparked a national conversation about how girls are raised to be perfect and how we all can break free from the cult of perfection.
DAY OF THE GIRL / SISTERHOOD
This year, for the organization’s annual Sisterhood campaign, Girls Who Code launched the first-ever all-digital global march for girls, by girls, and about girls: the #MarchForSisterhood. Over 250,000 girls from around the world participated in the march and hundreds of millions viewed the campaign.
Today, girls—and all who identify as girls—are more connected to one another than ever before. Our ideas and dreams spread quickly from one smartphone to another, allowing us to share our lives with another girl, family, and community a world away.
BRINGING COMPUTER SCIENCE TO K–12 CLASSROOMS
Girls Who Code is passing the first gender-focused computer science legislation at the state and federal level, with bills passed in Washington and Colorado in 2019.
As a part of that work, Girls Who Code convened a bipartisan panel with female congressional leadership to discuss policy solutions to bring more girls into computer science.
Girls Who Code Event with Congressional Leadership, July 2019. From left to right, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Sen. Jacky Rosen, moderator Tiffany Cross
I look forward to continue working with Girls Who Code to develop bipartisan legislation that ensures federal computer science programs effectively close the gender gap.
We wouldn’t be the organization we are today without our partners. They are generous not only with their resources, but in myriad other ways—as advocates of our movement, mentors for our girls, and real agents of change in their industries.
Through work with partners like Girls Who Code, Delta is working to play a role in solving systemic underrepresentation across tech and aviation industries. Working together, we can change what engineers, scientists, tech programmers, pilots, and aircraft maintenance technicians look like in the future.
Computing and technology hold the promise of opportunity for so many girls. Yet, while progress has been made to successfully connect girls to computer science from kindergarten to career, we still have work to do. Microsoft’s partnership with Girls Who Code is central to our commitment to help ensure every girl and young woman has access to computer science education.
VISION FOR 2020
We’re smart. We’re qualified. And we’ve fought to get to where we are because we love computer science and because we think tech can change the world for good.
We’ve disrupted the idea of a pipeline problem in tech. We’re rapidly changing the makeup of computer science classrooms in K–12 and at the college level. And, with more and more alumni entering the workforce, we have no doubt about the strides we can make there too.
All of this work is possible because we have the support of generous partners—funders, community organizations, and facilitators—who understand the impact of the gender gap in tech and are committed to doing something about it.
But what really makes this work possible are the girls driving so much of this work forward themselves. When they choose to be brave and take their first-ever computer science course. Or when they’re trying to fix a broken line of code for the first time. Or when they’re applying for a job, faced with the pressure of being the only woman in the room.
They are bravery, redefined. They lean on their sisterhood, their skills, and their spirit to succeed. And they keep us going, every day.
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES