Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani is on a mission: to get young women in the United States interested in computer sciences. In 2011 she founded Girls Who Code, an organization providing summer programs for high school girls to immerse themselves in computer sciences.

"Girls Who Code is so powerful because it enables girls to establish a connection between coding and changing the world," Saujani says.

The former Deputy Public Advocate of New York City, Saujani saw a serious need in education for women to bridge the gender gap in technology fields.

"When I was running for office in New York City back in 2010 I saw firsthand the enormous technology divide that existed here, and I wanted to do something to change it,” Saujani says.

What began with 20 ambitious high school women in New York City has now grown into an impressive national pilot program. In 2014 the program expects to reach 3,000 young women, according to Saujani.

GWC’s summer program is an intensive curriculum on robotics, web design, mobile app development and entrepreneurship. Classes include everything from programming robots in Python to building websites in HTML, to video game designing in JavaScript. Other activities include extensive talks from guest speakers at Fortune 100 companies to current female undergraduate students studying computer science, and field trips to tech industry mainstays (and GWC sponsors) including Google, Intel, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Foursquare, Microsoft, AT&T, and more. The program’s benefits go beyond the eight-week program: prestigious internships, job offers and contracted projects with GWC’s contributing companies.

The program encourages more young women to choose a college major in computer sciences, aiming to close the gender gap in the heavily male-dominated computer science field.

Only 12% of computer science graduates are female, with a miniscule .3% of female high school students choosing to major in computer sciences. According to Saujani, in a room of computer engineers in the U.S., only 3 out of 25 are female.

"Help build awareness of the gender gap in tech,” Saujani says. “Girls Who Code is a movement. If there's a girl in your life, show her how learning to code can empower her to achieve her dreams, no matter what she wants to do.”

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Teneshia Jackson Warner is an award-winning multicultural marketing expert, purpose-driven entrepreneur and author. She is the founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of EGAMI Group, a leading multicultural marketing and communications firm in Manhattan with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Target, Verizon Wireless, My Black is Beautiful, U.S. Army, Hennessy, Major League Baseball and Toyota.

In 2013, Teneshia founded The Dream Project Symposium, an annual empowerment conference that helps thousands of entrepreneurs, creatives and career Dreamers plan and achieve their goals. Based on concepts from The Dream Project, Teneshia’s new book, The Big Stretch: 90 Days to Expand Your Dreams, Crush Your Goals, and Create Your Own Success (McGraw-Hill Education, November 22, 2019), is a fully customizable self-evaluation and empowerment program for jumpstarting a new business, career or big idea.

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