Girls Who Code recently launched “Make That Change”, a multimedia campaign meant to encourage girls to pursue careers in tech. The campaign wants girls to know that when they learn to code, they can make the change they want to see in the world. By choosing a tech career, they can make changes in their own lives too. Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology.
Celebrating a global sisterhood
Each year on International Day of the Girl, Girls Who Code celebrates the incredible power of young women around the world — the power of uplifting each other in a global sisterhood, and, most importantly, the power of harnessing technology to create the future we want to live in.
“In recent years, the tech industry has become emblematic of the stark inequalities that exist in this country, led by men focused on greed and egomania rather than on the collective good,” said Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code. “With Make That Change, we want to empower girls to shift the status quo, to pursue careers in tech and wield them as a force for good in the world, while also proudly building an exciting future for themselves. We know that there are women in tech who are already using their skills to better their communities and, at Girls Who Code, we’ve built an alumni network of 90,000 young women who are ready to do the same. They are the future leaders of the tech industry, and the leaders we deserve.”
In praise of trailblazing women
The campaign kicks-off with a video highlighting real women in STEM who are making change in their communities. The video also features Girls Who Code Alumni who are following in their footsteps. The video aims to gives them the glamorous, hip-hop treatment they’ve earned. The women featured include:
- Tiffany Kelly; Founder and CEO at Curastory, a platform helping college athletes monetize their own content.
- Yamilée Toussaint Beach; Founder and CEO at STEM From Dance, a nonprofit organization. STEM From Dance is helping Black and Latinx girls discover stem through dance. Toussaint Beach is also an IF/THEN Ambassador.
- Roselin Rosario-Meléndez; Innovation Leader, Inventor, Polymer Chemist, and IF/THEN Ambassador.
- Minerva Tantoco; Tech Entrepreneur, New York City Tech Activist, and First Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York.
- Anamita Guha; Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence Product at Facebook, and IF/THEN Ambassador.
- Karina Popovich; Head of Impact at Makers for Change, Founder of INERTIA, Junior at Cornell University, and IF/THEN Ambassador.
- Emmy Chavez; Web Designer Specializing in Financial Technology, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.
- Kayla Nicholas; Current Girls Who Code Club Student, Web Designer for the Lawyer Connection Club, which provides legal resources to youth.
- Daelah Nicholas; Current Girls Who Code Club Student, Passionate STEM advocate and future OBGYN. Nicholas is working on a science research project alongside college professors and postdoctoral students.
The bright future of tech
“The innovative Make That Change campaign is destined to reach young women who may be questioning their interest in STEM and inspire them to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world,” said Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Philanthropies® and co-founder of the IF/THEN Initiative. “We are proud that 4 of our 120 talented and accomplished AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors are featured in such a compelling way in this ground-breaking effort.”
Tech jobs are among the fastest-growing occupations in the country. The economy is expected to add more than half a million jobs by 2029. Importantly, these jobs pay: the median wage for a tech job is more than double the national median wage. While the wage gap for Black women compared to white men is 63 cents, in the tech industry, Black women make 90 cents to the dollar. Despite this, women make up only 26 percent of computing jobs. Black and Latinx women hold only 5.3 percent of computing jobs.
“With my generation, we look up to influencers and artists as the careers of choice, and ones where women can make an impact or make money. Those careers seem ‘cooler’ than those in STEM,” said Yula Ye, creative at Mojo Supermarket. “With this campaign, we wanted to show the real side of STEM, with real women that are making change in the world and making change in their bank accounts to inspire other women to see careers in STEM as both lucrative and important.”
About Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, and leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Since launching in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached 450,000 girls through our in-person programming and we have nearly 90,000 college-aged alumni. We have sparked culture change through marketing campaigns and advocacy efforts, generating 13 Billion engagements globally. In 2018, the organization was named the #1 Most Innovative Non-Profit on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list.
Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.
Read about how women in tech have faced career barriers during COVID.