22
Sep

Riot Games partners with Girls Who Code and donates 500 copies of the new nonfiction book Learn to Code and Change the World to Los Angeles Non-Profits

Los Angeles, CA (September 20) — Girls Who Code CEO & Founder Reshma Saujani and Riot Games Head of Social Impact Jeffrey Burrell joined Deputy Mayor Brenda Shockley at Los Angeles City Hall to celebrate Riot Games’ donation of 500 copies of the new Girls Who Code nonfiction book, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, as part of a new partnership supporting Girls Who Code clubs along the West Coast. They were joined at the event by Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Luz Rivas and the CyberCode Twins America and Penelope Lopez.

Girls Who Code has teamed up with Penguin to release 13 books for girls about computer science and coding – the first of their kind. The first books were released on August 22, 2017 and include a nonfiction book, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, and a fiction book, The Friendship Code.

Literary representation matters: one of the best ways to spark girls’ interest is to share stories of girls who look like them. Girls Who Code is releasing the series as an invitation for girls everywhere to learn to code and change the world. These books include explanations of computer science concepts using real life examples; relatable characters and profiles of women in tech. It’s one of the first times that the story of computer science has been told through so many girls’ voices. Girls Who Code hopes that these characters will inspire a generation of girls to learn to code.

“We know we can reach so many more girls, which is why we’re so grateful that Riot Games has graciously donated books to girls across Los Angeles. Their donation allows thousands of girls without access to computers or computer science to explore coding,” Reshma Saujani, CEO & Founder of Girls Who Code, said. “Mayor Garcetti has demonstrated a real commitment to closing the gender gap in tech by investing in computer science programs for girls both in and out of schools. I am proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office bridge the opportunity gap and change the culture to help girls access the jobs of the future.”

“Learning and having fun go hand-in-hand to keep people interested and engaged. We’re thrilled to provide copies of Girls Who Code’s book to young girls all across LA in order to help them learn, have fun, and develop skills to be 21st century leaders,” said Jeffrey Burrell, head of social impact at Riot Games.  “Riot is excited and honored to support Girls Who Code as their official West Coast partner. We are inspired by their ongoing work in developing students’ technical skills and building a powerful community of female coders. We hope this partnership will help inspire a new generation of female developers and engineers to join the video game industry.”

“Everyone deserves an equal shot at success — and Girls Who Code brings together educators, experts, and industry leaders to help make sure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “This partnership with Riot Games will help inspire hundreds of girls to dream without limits and imagine their rightful place among the innovators who are shaping the world’s future.”

The nonfiction book is part how-to, part girl-empowerment, and all fun, serving as an invitation to the wonderful world of coding. Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be.

Today, women represent one of the single largest untapped sources of talent in the technology field. There were 500,000 open jobs in computing in the U.S. last year, yet only 7,000 women graduated last year with a degree in computer science. This gap has been getting worse; in 1995, women made up almost 40% of the computing workforce, yet today that number is less than 25%. According to research from Accenture, in 10 years at the current rate, women’s representation will fall to 22%. The Girls Who Code book series is aimed at closing the gender gap in technology by reaching girls everywhere.