THE GENDER GAP IN COMPUTING IS GETTING WORSE.
In 1995, 37% of computer scientists were women. Today, it’s only 24%. The percent will continue to decline if we do nothing. We know that the biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17.
GIRLS WHO CODE IS CHANGING THE GAME
We’re reaching girls around the world and are on track to close the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2027.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. The organization works toward closing the gender employment difference in technology, and to change the image of what a programmer looks like. They host a seven-week Summer Immersion Program, a two-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a New York Times best-selling Penguin 13-book series.
Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani in 2012 who came up with the idea of creating the organization during her run for the United States Congress when she noticed that schools along her campaign route lacked girls in computer science classrooms. The organization runs programs during the academic year teaching high school girls computing skills like programming, robotics, and web design, with sessions including projects and trips to companies like Twitter and Facebook. There are now over 1500 Girls Who Code clubs across America, with the organization aiming to teach one million girls to code by 2020. By December 2014, three thousand students had completed a Girls Who Code program, 95% of whom went on to major in computer science at university.
In 2019, the organization announced plans to expand to 10,000 clubs in all 50 states. In 2020, Girls Who Code launched a free 2-week virtual summer immersion program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the program serving 5,000 girls in its first year.
The organization is sponsored by a number of software and technology companies including AOL, Google, and Microsoft, and in August 2014 received a $1 million contribution from AT&T.
As of 2015, only 18% of computer science college graduates are women. The founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, believes that girls are raised to "be perfect" while boys are raised to "be brave". Reshma Saujani participated in a TED Talk where she spoke about the consequences girls face in their future if they don't start taking risks. She speaks of the tech industry and how she thinks there is a bias against women in the industry. The company announced that in 2016 the non-profit organization will be expanding to all 50 states- making it the largest computing program for girls in the United States. In August 2017, the nonprofit launched a 13-book series with Penguin Random House, including a nonfiction book, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, and several fiction books. By the spring of 2018, Girls Who Code will have reached more than 50,000 girls with their computer science education programs.
As of February 2021 Girls Who Code has more than 80,000 college-aged alums who are entering the workforce. Girls Who Code clubs and programs have reached more than 300,000 girls globally as of March 2021.
The organization's efforts to close the achievement gender gap has resulted in several honors. Saujani was recognized for 'her vision and efforts to close the gender gap in technology'. Girls Who Code alumni include Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser, the creators of the video game Tampon Run.
In 2016, Girls Who Code partnered with Accenture to work on the future of tech. They subsequently released a report on recommendations to decrease the gender gap in computing.
Girls Who Code has also announced they will be releasing an app on the Apple App Store. This is intended to increase popularity and get more people involved.
Dell Technologies has partnered with the organization to support after school programs for young girls.
On October 11, 2018, Girls Who Code partnered with TikTok starting the hashtag #raiseyourhand. The app has announced to give US$1 for every video posted using the hashtag with a maximum of $10,000.
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.