Women have been at the heart of iD Tech since 1999, when Alexa Ingram-Cauchi and her mother, Kathryn Ingram, created the company. Over the years, we’ve supported women in every aspect of our operations, from ensuring that women are represented in leadership roles within the company to empowering the thousands of girls who have spent their summers at our camps. As part of our initiative to engage girls in tech, we’re continuing our Girls’ Scholarship Program for the second year in a row.
This year, we are partnering with Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science, to send 100 girls (ages 7–17) to iD Tech Camps for free. We know that technology can change a student’s life by providing a creative outlet and numerous career opportunities. That’s why the scholarship program gives most of us in the office the warm fuzzies. By awarding 100 deserving girls a scholarship to camp, we’re taking one step toward closing the gender gap in STEM education. (Apply for a scholarship here before April 1, 2015.)
Of course, we’re not the only company that’s dedicated to making sure that in future generations, women will make up more than 14% of computer science majors. Here are some of our favorite organizations that are working toward engaging more girls in technology.
Girls Who Code
According to founder Reshma Saujana, “[Girls Who Code] is more than just a program. It’s a movement.” We couldn’t agree more. With their lofty (and inspiring) goal of providing computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020, Girls Who Code is undoubtedly making a big impact when it comes to engaging girls in tech. Their unique approach provides girls with both intensive instruction in STEM subjects and mentorship from some of the industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs.
This year, iD Tech is partnering with Code.org to send 100 girls to iD Tech Camps for free. Though Code.org only launched in 2013, the non-profit quickly made a name for itself as one of the foremost organizations in engaging students in STEM subjects. The non-profit supports two major goals (among others), which include making computer science programs available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. The organization’s nationwide initiative, Hour of Code, aims to introduce children to computer science in one hour, with the goal of demystifying programming and proving that anyone can learn the basics.
Made with Code
Google knows that women are underrepresented in technology companies, labs, research, creative arts, and organizations. Made with Code is part of the company’s initiative to inspire more girls to get involved in coding and computer science. In 2014, Google invested $50 million in the program to cover the next three years. Head to the website to find free resources and projects that help kids learn to code.
Black Girls CODE
Black Girls CODE operates community outreach programs, workshops, and after-school education as part of their commitment to bringing technology and fun to girls of color. The organization is based out of San Francisco, where white households are twice as likely to have internet access at home as African American households. In some areas, 66% of Latinos report having a home computer, compared to 88% of Caucasian households. While girls in technology are lacking, the number of women of color in technology is even smaller. Thankfully Black Girls CODE is closing that gap and empowering more pre-teens and teens.
With all of these organizations (and more!) working to engage girls in STEM education, gender parity in computer science is within reach. With our Girls’ Scholarship Program, we are proud to be a part of this important movement.