Girls Who Code Announces Star-Studded Virtual Summer Speaker Series for the Organization’s Students and Partners

Speakers include Mellody Hobson, Dr. Jill Biden, Soledad O’Brien, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Indra Nooyi, Jack Dorsey, Melinda Gates, Banu Guler, NASA astronaut Christina Koch, Bozoma Saint John, Eric Yuan, Jessamyn Stanley, and former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr.

Virtual speaker series comes on the heels of three virtual initiatives released by Girls Who Code in response to COVID-19, including Code at Home, Girls Who Code Talks, and the organization’s flagship Summer Immersion Program.

New York, NY (June 15, 2020) - Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology, today announced a summer speaker series featuring leading public servants, artists, entertainers, activists and more as a part of its virtual Summer Immersion Program for students and partners. Speakers include, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson, former second lady Dr. Jill Biden, journalist Soledad O’Brien, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, CEO and Chairman of Square and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, Co-Chair and Founder of the Gates Foundation Melinda Gates, Co-founder and CEO of Co-Star Banu Guler, NASA astronaut Christina Koch, GWC Board Member and Endeavor CMO Bozoma Saint John, Founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications Eric Yuan, Founder of The Underbelly Yoga Jessamyn Stanley, and former U.S. Education Secretary under President Obama John B. King Jr.

“The girls we serve—half of whom are black, latinx, or come from low-income communities—inspire me everyday with their resilience, drive, and bravery,” said Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code. “It’s an honor to be able to return the favor, to bring them hope, advice, and inspiration from such incredible leaders, all of whom are tireless advocates of equity in tech and beyond.”

Guests for the speaker series will continue to be announced throughout the summer. Girls Who Code founder and CEO will host each speaker for a virtual conversation, followed by a Q&A with the organization's students and partners. The conversations will be recorded and edited for broader release after being live-streamed to the young women.

“We say it all the time: you cannot be what you cannot see,“ said Deborah Singer, Chief Marketing Officer at Girls Who Code. “We’re here to teach girls to code and to change the world. We’ve taught them to code, and we’re hoping these speakers can help us inspire them to change the world, to let them know that they are powerful—even in the midst of such an unimaginably difficult time.”

This announcement comes on the heels of three virtual initiatives released by the Girls Who Code team in response to COVID-19, including weekly virtual Code at Home exercises, a four-part Girls Who Code Talks series for alumni, and most recently, their virtual Summer Immersion Program.

The new virtual two-week Summer Immersion Program model, which will reach 5,000 girls, takes into account issues of accessibility facing the hardest-to-reach girls—such as WiFi, hardware, and living circumstances. It also incorporates best practices in digital learning, including shorter days, live and asynchronous instruction, small group work and project-based learning, and office hours.

In this new model, girls will gain skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. The two-week program will also include virtual engagements with Girls Who Code corporate partners and professional growth opportunities, including this summer speaker series.

The program is open to rising sophomore, juniors, and seniors in high school with no prior computer science experience. To apply for the Summer Immersion Program, click here.

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is sponsored by 43 major companies and philanthropic foundations, including: Accenture, Akamai Technologies, AT&T, Autodesk, Bank of America, BlackRock, Blizzard Entertainment, Cadence Design Systems, Centerfield, CNA, Credit Suisse, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Electronic Arts, EY, Fiserv, Ford Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Bank, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kate Spade New York Foundation, Lightspeed Venture Partners, MetLife and MetLife Foundation, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, P&G, Pfizer Inc., Prudential Financial, PwC Charitable Foundation, Raytheon Technologies, RBC Capital Markets, Riot Games, S&P Global and the S&P Global Foundation, State Farm®, the BSA Foundation, Synchrony, The Travelers Companies, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, Twitter, ViacomCBS, Walmart, WarnerMedia, Wells Fargo, and Xandr.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, and leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip young women with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Since launching in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached 500 million people through its work and 300,000 girls through its in-person programming. College-aged alumni of Girls Who Code are declaring majors in computer science and related fields at 15 times the U.S. average. In 2019, the organization was named the #1 Most Innovative Non-Profit on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.