The global pandemic has exposed us to and highlighted many critical needs both in our own communities and around the world. Few are more important than supporting and sustaining educational opportunities for children and young adults. In celebration of BrandSmart 2021, 50,000feet is honored to make a donation to the Lane Tech College Prep High School chapter of Girls Who Code, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like.
According to Girls Who Code, women made up 37% of computer scientists in 1935. Today, that number has declined to 24% and will continue to do so without action. The biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17. Girls Who Code provides access to STEM opportunities for students who may not have an outlet to further their interests, opening a door that might otherwise have been closed.
Since launching in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached 500 million people through its work and 300,000 girls through its in-person programming including its Summer Immersion Program, Clubs and College Loops with half of the girls coming from underserved communities.
Girls Who Code is an organization that considers diversity, equity, and inclusion essential to its mission. The organization acknowledges that historical and institutional barriers—particularly racial bias and discrimination—play a role in the widening gender gap in computer science and who has access to opportunities in these fields. Girls Who Code focuses its work not only on gender diversity but also on young women who are historically underrepresented in computer science fields, specifically girls who:
- Come from minority groups, including African American/Black, Hispanic or Latina, Bi/Multiracial, Native American/Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander;
- Come from low-income backgrounds, specifically free and/or reduced lunch eligible;
- Have had a lack of exposure or access to computer science.
Girls Who Code acknowledges and values the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender identity and expression, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, national origin and religious/spiritual identities.
Girls Who Code welcomes anyone who identifies as female, regardless of assignment at birth, into the organization’s community and programs. The programs also welcome people who identify as non-binary or gender nonconforming and want to be in a female-identified environment.
50,000feet is proud to support this community, its mission and the Lane Tech chapter in Chicago, helping to give back to enable us all to move forward together and encourage girls to change the world. Learn more about the work they are doing at girlswhocode.com.