Today, Girls Who Code (GWC) announced its #HireMe campaign, which aims to partner major tech companies with GWC alumnae. GWC is a national nonprofit organization that produces programs to equip girls in high school with computer science skills. The announcement came at The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston.
More than twenty technology firms have pledged to share paid internships and other opportunities with graduates from GWC’s two programs. These programs include a seven-week summer immersion program for high school sophomores and juniors and a Girls Who Code after school club for girls in grades six through 12.
The major NYC-based tech companies that have pledged to develop a network with Girls Who Code include AOL, AppNexus, IAC, Square, Viacom and Verizon along with investment banking firms Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. Tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, General Electric and Microsoft have also partnered with GWC as part of the #HireMe initiative.
The #HireMe campaign is expanding upon these partnerships by inviting any additional organizations to hire from GWC’s pipeline of up and coming computer scientists.
The power of Girls Who Code, whose ultimate mission is “to close the gender gap in technology,” is in its numbers. Currently, GWC has 10,000 alumni, with 90 percent of alumnae having declared or are planning to declare a major or minor in computer science. Among GWC graduates, 92 percent of them have taught another girl how to code. With a solid educational foundation and a growing number of tech giants at its disposal, Girls Who Code is poised to create the next wave of women software professionals.
GWC’s founder Reshma Saujani hopes her organization will permanently affect the number of women who enter STEM-centric fields.
“Girls Who Code is on track to educate 10,000 girls in 40 states by the end of the year – the same number of total female computer science graduates in 2015,” Saujani said in a statement. “With today’s commitments from the country’s leading technology companies, we are one step closer to ensuring these young women have more opportunities than ever to follow their passions and pursue careers in computer science fields.”
With the lack of diversity in tech continuing as an ubiquitous problem across the board, this network offers a solution in the form of peer support. By directly connecting girls with technical career opportunities, Girls Who Code has the potential to disrupt the “brogrammer” culture that the tech industry has been chastised for in the past.