Tech remains one of the fastest growing industries. The number of computer science and IT jobs anticipated in the coming years is large and growing. Black girls who have been empowered by the Black Girls Code program are ready and eager to fill these roles. These brilliant young women are leaders and innovators, each ready to be a #FutureTechBoss.
Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, is an African American electrical engineer who has spent much of her career working in biotech. Although Bryant says that biotech was fairly diverse, the tech world is known for having a “diversity problem.” She saw this with great clarity when she made a career change to the (largely white and male) world of tech startups. When Bryant’s daughter Kia attended a computer science summer camp, both Kia and Kimberly were shocked to learn she was the only black girl and one of few girls overall. Even worse, Kia noticed a stark difference in how the instructors treated the boys compared to the girls. These experiences inspired Kimberly to start Black Girls Code.
The mission of Black Girls Code is simple: “To increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.” Since it started in 2013, Black Girls Code has worked with over 3,000 students across 7 states and Johannesburg, South Africa. The goal is to expand to at least 8 more cities in the US soon.
In addition to its on-the-ground programs, Black Girls Code maintains an active presence online. This year during Black History Month, they launched the #FutureTechBoss Series where they highlight stories of individual girls who make up the bright future of tech. The inspiring series has continued through to Women’s History Month. The girls talk about their goals, their heroes, and even their favorite music and movies. Featured young tech divas include Charmienne Butterfield who started coding at age 7 and hopes one day to be a NASA astrophysicist, and Kimora Oliver who aspires to be a biomedical engineer.
Take a few minutes to read through the stories of these young women. Tech impacts all of our lives and knowing that many a #FutureTechBoss will look like these fabulous young women is inspiring indeed.