Computer Science

Nonprofit Receives $250,000 to Expand Computer Science Program for Girls

Image Credit: Girls Who Code.

Girls Who Code (GWC) today announced a new partnership that would offer an after-school computer science (CS) education program intended to serve girls from underserved communities, at no cost.

The national nonprofit has received a $250,000 grant from General Motors to expand GWC’s Clubs program, which offers free after-school programs and mentorship support for girls in grades 6-12 to obtain CS skills.

To celebrate the new partnership, Reshma Sharma, GWC founder and CEO, and Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, are hosting activities focused on connectivity, and autonomous and future mobility solutions for about 30 GWC students. A number of hands-on workshops led by female executives are taking place today at the launch event, including Christine Sitek, COO of GM Global Connected Customer Experience (GCCX) Operations, and Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer of GM Global Electric & Autonomous Vehicles.

While the demand for computing skills is higher than ever, the gender gap in computing jobs is getting worse, according to a recent report from GWC and Accenture. Women in the computer workforce has declined from 37 percent in 1995 to 24 percent today, presenting a challenge for the U.S. economy and its long-term global competitiveness.

GM has been working to advance STEM education, as part of its commitment to “fostering smart, safe and sustainable communities around the world,” according to the company’s website.

“Becoming an engineer paved the way for my career,” Barra said in a blog post announcement. “It’s one of the reasons I am passionate about promoting STEM education to students everywhere …. I’m extremely proud that some of GM’s top female leaders will spend time with the students, teaching them about the possibilities and rewards of a STEM education.”

Further information is available on the GWC site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].