The 2020 Donations Program has been an incredibly fulfilling achievement for the entire BairesDev team. We started this program to periodically donate part of our revenue to nonprofit organizations that empower people and build spaces where talent can shine. So far, BairesDev has made close to 100 donations on behalf of our clients to almost 20 NPOs that are helping people thrive around the world—and we’re glad to announce that Girls Who Code has received the most support.
Girls Who Code (GWC) is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology by building the world’s largest pipeline of future female engineers. With over 8,500 programs worldwide, GWC has reached more than 500 million people and helped over 300 thousand girls get started with coding. Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of the organization, aims to close the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2027.
How Girls Who Code Supports Talent
Equity, diversity, and opportunity are all essential for talented people to thrive. And, in an industry so historically hindered by gender disparity, it’s absolutely necessary to drive transformation now.
Girls Who Code supports talent through three programs: Clubs, Summer Immersion, and College Loops. Their alumni not only major in Computer Science at 15 times the national average, but also count with the support of a worldwide community that keeps growing every day. What’s more, over 50% of the girls served come from historically underrepresented groups in tech. Today, not a day goes by when there isn’t a Girls Who Code club or program meeting.
Clubs are free after-school programs where girls can explore coding in a fun and friendly environment. These spaces bring together 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade girls, forming a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models who use computer science to change the world.
Clubs for grades 3-5 can be run entirely unplugged (with optional online components), as girls read and discuss best-selling books and then complete creative challenges. Clubs for grades 6-12 take it a step further and require computers so that every girl can build their coding skills by developing an impact project.
The Summer Immersion is a 2-week program that teaches girls the computer science skills they need to make an impact in their community while preparing for a career in tech. It’s designed to expose 10th-12th grade students to real-world projects in art, storytelling, robotics, video games, websites, apps, and much more.
This way, the girls can code their own applications to address problems facing their communities—from climate change, to cyberbullying, to literacy. What’s more, they can learn about tech careers by connecting with female engineers and entrepreneurs and participating in skill-building workshops.
College Loops are university-level networks where college-aged women with an interest in tech can support each other to persist and succeed in the field. These programs facilitate on-campus leadership and are led by passionate women who are committed to reaching gender parity in tech.
All the women who participate in College Loops have access to exclusive opportunities to connect and build relationships with industry professionals and Girls Who Code corporate partners, building a strong community of belonging through weekly meetings during the school year.
Acknowledging Gender Diversity in Software Development
It’s foolish to deny the gender biases that have naturalized in software development. Only by acknowledging them, we will change the image of what a developer looks like and does. The fact that Girls Who Code has received the most support in the 2020 Donations Program shines on the hope of parity for this industry.
At BairesDev, our goal is to reach male and female parity by 2024. We take pride in forming part of a global community that supports the advancement of gender equality in tech. Our team will continue to strive and empower people by giving them the confidence and flexibility to share, learn, and reach their full potential.