Girls Who Code has been held in high regard, and rightfully so -- they're a nonprofit organization aiming to support and increase the number of women in computer science. Since 2012, founder Reshma Saujani's quest to close the gender gap has gained unbelievable momentum.
In just three years, Girls Who Code's alumni has grown from 20 to a massive 10,000 (end of 2015). Putting that number in perspective, 10,000 is the same number of girls who graduate each year with a computer science degree ... from all U.S. universities combined. Serious kudos, Reshma & GWC team.
Their latest and greatest content includes a video that has caught viral fire, entitled, 'Why girls can't code?' Take a look and then scroll down to see why this matters:
1. It continues a must-needed conversation
The video is getting mixed feedback from both sides of the spectrum -- you love or hate it, but you have an opinion on it. Of course it was done in jest, but whether someone agrees or disagrees with the approach, it is absolutely part of the conversation, already commanding over 18,000 shares.
Girls Who Code recognizes that keeping the conversation alive is an ongoing "must-do." And in order to do so, you need to be bold.
2. 10,000 strong
The GWC mission statement is simple but powerful: "[We are] a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Our programs educate, equip, and inspire girls with the computing skills they'll need to pursue 21st century opportunities."
For graduates, that mission is especially contagious and something that inspires continued awareness. Remember Temple Run? Who could forget it? How about Tampon Run? That's right. In 2015, Girls Who Code alumna Sophie Houser made waves in the news by co-creating Tampon Run with the goal of de-stigmatizing menstruation.
If they aren't already, Girls Who Code should be encouraging their alumni to think outside the box to drive awareness. We need more Sophies.
3. They're growing
It's one thing to start a conversation, but the Girls Who Code growth has been phenomenal:
- In 2014, Girls Who Code had 43 club programs, nationwide. They're projecting 1500 by end of 2016
- By the end of 2016, alumni are expected to grow from 10,000 to 40,000
- 90% of Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program participants say they were planning to major or minor in Computer Science or a closely-related field
- 65% of Clubs participants say they are considering a major or minor in Computer Science because of Girls Who Code
I spoke with Loraya Harrington, Senior Manager of Community Programs, who is excited about the momentum:
"It's amazing to see the national interest for our programs. Whether they're an 11th grader in Manhattan or a 6th grader in Nebraska, girls want to learn to code and they're good at it."
The gender gap is certainly not closed, but by strategically sparking the conversation, continuing awareness, and simply growing in numbers, it will close over time.
Want to bring GWC to your town? Their Clubs application just went live today.
Keep the conversation alive.