By Lin Bocash (Volunteer, BlackGirlsCODE)
I found the article on Women 2.0 about female CTO founders incredibly inspirational. This is a marvelous start but what about reaching young women from under-represented communities?
I have been lucky enough to be involved with BlackGirlsCODE for two semesters now and to help with the work they do in bringing technical knowledge and skills to under-represented girls in the Bay Area and other cities
The pipeline for female CTOs is growing
BlackGirlsCODE launched their Summer of Code with a goal of teaching 300 girls from underserved backgrounds. Their results were double that number!
This summer, BlackGirlsCODE enrolled more than 600 girls in classes in web development and gaming; hosting programs in Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Francisco and South Africa. As a small non-profit, none of the work would have been possible without the support of a cadre of volunteers from leading technology organizations such as ThoughtWorks, Google and LinkedIn.
Changing the face of technology
Since BlackGirlsCODE’s launch in 2011 in San Francisco, the non-profit organization has lived by the motto “Build the future!”. It is an unfortunate fact that there is a disparity of women, and even more so women of color, in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, but this is something that BlackGirlsCODE is helping to remedy by shifting the nationwide conversation around the issue of diversity in tech, especially the challenges faced by women of color.
BlackGirlsCODE continues to grow the pipeline of young women of color in STEM fields and in 2013 plans to expand their successful Summer of Code program to additional cities including Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia and many more.
There are also plans to create year round programs with BlackGirlsCODE chapters in several cities including New York, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Atlanta and the Bay Area through partnerships with local schools and teams of volunteers. Watch for these young women in PITCH NYC – 2022!
Join the movement to grow the number of young tech women of color
The word is out about the innovative work of BlackGirlsCODE and their impact on the field of technology and as a result they have been nominated as one of three finalists to receive a $50,000 grant from Bank of the West, as part of their 2012 Philanthropy award. With this grant, BlackGirlsCODE plans to expand their movement further and provide critical resources for their existing programs and chapters. Join me in supporting BlackGirlsCODE in their quest to #ChangetheRatio #1GirlAtATime.
Vote for BlackGirlsCODE here – votes will be counted through October 31, 2012.
Women 2.0 readers: How will we change the ratio for women CTOs in the workplace? Let us know in the comments.
Photo credit: BlackGirlsCODE on Facebook.
About the guest blogger: Lin Bocash is a student at San Francisco State University currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in technical writing. She is volunteering at BlackGirlsCODE for her final semester at SFSU and looks forward to helping BlackGirlsCODE continue their work. Lin has long been interested in technology, especially in regard to design, marketing, and the facilitation of communication the internet age has brought. She is an avid reader, and occasional entertainment blogger.