Last night, Dickinson hosted a fireside chat with Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. The event brought awareness to the gender disparity in tech and discussed ways more girls and women can get involved in computer science.
Launched around 10 years ago, Girls Who Code was inspired by classroom visits Saujani embarked on as part of a congressional run she was undertaking at the time.
“I would go into computer science classes and see lines of boys trying to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, and I remember thinking, 'Where are the girls?' ” said Saujani, a former lawyer. “I knew Silicon Valley was a boys club, but I didn’t know that club started in high school. So I started Girls Who Code because I wanted to make sure that girls were included in the future of tech.”
With just 20 girls at its inception, the organization has increased its numbers to 450,000 since, and there are now more than 1,500 Girls Who Code clubs across America, including an active club at Dickinson.
“The Girls Who Code movement certainly inspired me, and I know that it has inspired many of the women sitting here in the audience,” said Jill Forrester, Dickinson’s interim CIO and interim vice president of information services, who moderated the conversation before a standing-room-only gathering.
While not a coder herself, Saujani is the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect and the New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach Girls, Bravery not Perfection,” has almost six million views and has sparked a worldwide conversation about how we’re raising girls. She is the host of the award-winning podcast “Brave, Not Perfect.”
Published February 11, 2022