A 21st century workforce begins with 21st century workers. But so often, people aren’t inspired to get the skills that will help them get the best jobs, and they haven’t learned how to take their education into their own hands. There are a lot of groups now that focus on teaching coding skills to newcomers to the tech industry, but Black Girls Code is one of the most inspiring, because it focuses not just on teaching coding skills, but to teaching them to a population that has been doubly passed by when it comes to tech jobs: girls of color. Kimberly Bryant has also built an organization that relies heavily on volunteers to teach, reminding us that one of the great untapped resources in our country is the free time of those who are willing to put their skills to work on behalf of others.
— Tim O’Reilly
Much has changed since my college days, but there’s still a dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions, an absence that cannot be explained by, say, a lack of interest in these fields. Lack of access and lack of exposure to STEM topics are the likelier culprits. By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.
Exponential teaching is how we will reach 1 million girls by 2040…If you teach one girl, she will naturally turn around and teach five, six or 10 more.
By limiting women in technology we are limiting ourselves to only half of the world’s solutions.
Kimberly Bryant is the founder and executive director of Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing underrepresented girls to the field of technology and computer science.
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