This article draws attention to what Silicon Valley calls the “2% problem.” African Americans represent only a tiny fraction of the predominately white and Asian male workforce found in most major tech companies. The article highlights a growing group of entrepreneurs and investors trying to change that. These leaders include Laura Weidman Powers, co-founder and CEO of Code2040, a non-profit with a mission to close the achievement, skills, and wealth gaps in the United States by 2040. Also on the list is Monique Woodard, founder and executive director of Black Founders. When she entered Silicon Valley's tech community, she noticed she was often one of very few African Americans at pitch events, hackathons, and start-up meets. She and her fellow cofounders created their own network and now host events and workshops, including hackathons at HBCUs.
Kimberly Bryant is the leader of Black Girls Code, which aims to train 1 million girls in coding by 2040. She became inspired by her preteen daughter who spent a week at a university-sponsored video-gaming camp. Her daughter told her that teachers paid little attention to the girls in the program. "I knew at that very moment I had to do something," Bryant says in the article. "I wanted to create an easier path for my daughter. I wanted her to have all the opportunities that were available to her." Black Girls Code now has groups in 13 U.S. cities and in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Girls Who Code is a U.S. non-profit that aims to close the gender gap in technology. The group sponsors 7-week code immersion camps all across the country. The camps are designed to encourage girls to consider tech as a career field and they challenge the stereotypes that coding and programming are for men only. Since 2012, Girls Who Code has provided coding instruction to 10,000 high school girls in both summer camps and after school programs.
This article introduces the eight women behind Project Include. The organization describes itself as an open community working toward providing meaningful diversity and inclusion solutions for tech companies. The article talks to five of Project Includes founders to discuss their personal experience inside the tech industry. The discussion includes Tracy Chou, Laura Gomez, Susan Wu, Erica Joy Baker, and bethanye Blount. If none of these names are familiar to you, get familiar. They provide some of the most interesting thought leadership surrounding women in tech that you'll find.
At Zip Code Wilmington, we’re proud of our efforts to encourage women in coding. Every positive change begins with a small step in the right direction. The women who apply for and graduate from our boot camp are taking those steps.