In middle school, 74 percent of girls express interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), but only 0.3 percent of high school girls select computer science as a potential college major.
In 1984, 37 percent of computer science graduates were women. Today, women represent 12 percent of all computer science graduates.
Women make up half the US workforce, but only 25 percent of jobs in technical or computing fields.
These three statistics scroll at the bottom of the Girls Who Code website, setting up the odds stacked against the nonprofit group. However, Girls Who Code has its eyes on the future: The US Department of Labor projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings, and Girls Who Code has set out to make sure that at least half of those go to women. In order to do so, it has developed a new model of computer science education that brings together robotics, web design, and mobile development with mentorship from women in these fields.
The last day of her program, she was offered a freelance coding job at Google.
Obviously, not every participant is guaranteed a job at a major technology company, but the nonprofit hopes that the programs will inspire women to try something that isn’t ordinarily pushed their way.
"In America, girls typically don't score as high in math and science as boys," says Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, to Oprah Magazine. "But in many other countries, that is not the case. I can still buy a pink T-shirt here that says 'Math Sucks’… If you give girls technology, how can they change the world?"
The group has summer programs in five cities plus coding clubs in four cities, with plans to develop further.