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News: Targeting gender gap in tech, Girls Who Code expanding to Miami


Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology and engineering, will expand to Miami, Detroit and San Jose. The national expansion is being funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

According to the press release this morning, Girls Who Code, which launched in 2012, offers a new model for computer science education, pairing 300 hours of intensive instruction in robotics, web design and mobile development with mentorship from and exposure to the industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs. In its first venture outside of New York, Girls Who Code’s eight-week intensive summer programs will launch for 13- to 17-year-old girls this summer in Detroit and San Jose, in the offices of GE and eBay, respectively.

Miami’s program will launch next year.

“Technology has the power to transform communities,” said Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani in the press release. “With Knight’s support, we are training a community of consumers to become a community of producers, creators and innovators. We can’t wait to meet the young women of Detroit, San Jose and Miami.”

Knight Foundation’s $435,000 investment is part of its Tech for Engagement Initiative, which aims to use the power of technology to bring people together to shape their future.

The need is huge: With 1.5 million computing jobs to fill by 2020, the U.S. is only expected to produce enough qualified candidates to fill 29 percent of those jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Today, just 14 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women, compared to 37 percent in 1984, the U.S. Department of Commerce has found.

Here is a   link to the Knight Foundation blog for a post from Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani  on why Girls Who Code is needed.