August 13, 2019
Inspiring the Next Generation of Coders With Girls Who Code
August 13, 2019
Software.org’s Girls Who Code class graduated last Thursday, celebrating the skills they gained over the past seven weeks in the Summer Immersion Program. Our class of 20 DC-area high school girls learned coding languages to create websites, program apps, and control robots. They took field trips outside the classroom and heard from visiting speakers, meeting female leaders in tech from engineers to senators.
We’ve partnered with Girls Who Code for the past five years, helping launch the Summer Immersion Program in DC in an effort to help the US tech industry better represent the diversity of America. As of 2017, fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates and 24% of computer scientists were women. Meanwhile, Girls Who Code alumni who have declared their majors chose to major in computer science and related fields at a rate 15 times the national average. By supporting programs like the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, Software.org aims to continue to encourage young women and girls to pursue careers in tech.
This summer’s program would not have been possible without the support of our partners:
- Senator Jacky Rosen for welcoming our class to Capitol Hill and sharing how her experience as a computer programmer and software developer has shaped her career in politics;
- Alexandra Reeve Givens for speaking about her experience working in the intersection between technology and law as the executive director of the Institute for Technology Law & Policy at Georgetown Law;
- Stephanie Bednarek for explaining the benefits of going into STEM from her perspective as an engineer who now works as Director of Commercial Sales at SpaceX;
- Jackie Schrag, Tucker Harris, and Leeza Luncheon of the Center for Strategic & International Studies iDeas Lab Web Team for demonstrating how they use their web development skills to make international relations policy more accessible to a wider audience;
- FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for explaining what the FCC does in the realm of tech policy, from cybersecurity to closing the digital divide and the importance of digital skills in the future economy;
- Microsoft for hosting Mentorship Day and enabling our students to meet with and get advice from female leaders in tech;
- Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy for hosting this year’s class;
- This year’s graduation keynote speaker, Elaine Filadelfo from Twitter, for her inspiring message about all the important things girls and women have to offer in the tech industry;
- Last but not least, our teachers, who took time out of their summer to equip our class with coding skills, answer their questions, and provide endless encouragement.
It’s been an exciting and inspiring summer and we can’t wait to see what our class will do next. Congratulations to the Girls Who Code Class of 2019!
Executive Director, Software.org
As the founding executive director of Software.org, 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.