Photo: Girls Who Code
It’s no secret that the tech world has been a boy’s club since forever. You don’t have to look much farther than the Kleiner Perkins sex scandal that’s been rocking the Valley for proof.A group of tech industry giants have come up with a smart way to fix that. On Tuesday, Twitter, General Electric, Google and eBay said they were backing an organisation called “Girls Who Code.” This is an organisation that teaches high school and middle school girls how to become programmers in an 8-week summer program. Each participant will be matched with a woman mentor at a tech company.
There’s a pilot planned for New York this summer, but with the financial and volunteer support of big tech backers, organisers hope to roll it out to other cities in 2013.
Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani, a hedge fund lawyer and former New York City deputy public advocate. Saujani says that even though 57 per cent of college graduates are women, only 14 per cent of computer science and engineering graduates are.
In a blog post, Sara Haider, an engineer at Twitter who goes by @pandemona, explained why Twitter was getting involved.
“Of course we have self-interest in this too: having more female engineers on staff leads to having an even better working environment at Twitter,” Haider wrote. “But more importantly, we want to support engineering education and make it more accessible to young women.”