Connecting the Dots

Helping the Software Workforce Look More Like America with Girls Who Code’s Girls Who Code class graduated yesterday, and we couldn’t be prouder of the work they’ve accomplished this summer. Our class of 23 DC-area high school girls spent the past seven weeks learning coding languages to create websites, program apps, and control robots. We also took them outside the classroom, where they got to meet female leaders in tech, from engineers to senators.

We’ve partnered with Girls Who Code for the last four years and helped launch the summer immersion program in DC because we believe the US software workforce should look more like America. In 2017, only 7,000 women graduated with computer science degrees, compared to 30,000 men, and just 24 percent of computer scientists were women. Those are extremely low numbers for an industry that is expected to have 1 million unfilled jobs by 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women and minorities should be empowered to fill those jobs – and that’s exactly what we hope to achieve through programs like Girls Who Code.

Our summer program would not have been possible without the support of our partners:

  • Senator Maria Cantwell for welcoming our class to Capitol Hill and talking with them about the importance of having more women coders;
  • Phyllis Schneck and her panel of colleagues from Promontory Financial Group for visiting the classroom again to give them advice on career prep, interview skills, and developing confidence in the workplace;
  • Minette Norman for sharing her unique career path, from double majoring in drama and French to becoming Vice President of Engineering at Autodesk;
  • Microsoft for hosting Mentorship Day and empowering our students to never be afraid to ask for advice and look for opportunities;
  • Jenny Yang for telling the girls about her experience as associate consultant for Adobe;
  • Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy for hosting and helping guide this year’s class;
  • This year’s graduation keynote speaker, Elaine Filadelfo from Twitter, for an incredibly inspiring message; and,
  • Last but not least, our teachers, who took time out of their summer to arm our class with coding skills and provided them with endless encouragement.

Our class also had a fun time participating in a congressional hackathon and appearing on ABC7 Good Morning America. It’s been an inspiring summer and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.

Congratulations to the Girls Who Code Class of 2018!

Find out more about our Girls Who Code class at

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Chris HopfenspergerChris Hopfensperger
Executive Director,

As the founding executive director of, Chris Hopfensperger leads the foundation’s efforts to help policymakers and the general public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society. He also helps translate the foundation’s philanthropic and forward-looking agenda into efforts to address key issues facing the software industry.

More about Chris Hopfensperger


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