Girls Who Code Make The World Better One App At A Time

At a time when parts of the tech industry are hostile work environments for women—this according to statistics revealing a rampant sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation problem — a career in the sciences might not appeal to many young girls. Reshma Saujani has made it her personal mission to change that.

On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last night, guest Saujani, an Indian-American lawyer and politician, discussed the initiative to encourage young women and girls to pursue studies in science and careers the booming tech field.

While Saujani isn’t a coder herself, her political campaigning brought her through enough schools that she saw the problem first-hand. To Noah’s point, women have been historically essential in coding. Check out Margaret Hamilton, the MIT programmer whose books and books of hand-written code got humans to the moon, essentially inventing software, for one especially radical example. But what Saujani calls the “brogrammer” myth has prevailed in pop culture. From movies and TV to the very real harassment problems online, girls have felt alienated from the field. “You cannot be what you cannot see,” she says, “So we need to change culture.”

Applications are open now for the Summer 2016 Immersion program, a seven-week computer science course to empower girls to “build awesome things.” As Saujani says, “Young girls are change agents. When they have technology, they’re looking at their community, they’re looking at the world, and they’re saying, How can I use technology to make it better?”

The program is on track to educate more than 40,000 girls in all 50 states this year.

Perfect timing, too, as President Obama has just introduced a plan to get more girls and kids of color involved in the sciences: the Computer Science for All initiative, to which the Obama administration plans to funnel upwards of 4.1 billion dollars.

Watch the full interview below and visit GirlsWhoCode.com for more info.

Advertisement

More from Tech