Girls Who Code!

Beginning in 2018, our project focus area will be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  JLR is partnering with Girls Who Code! a national non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, inspire and equip young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields by working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.

Why did we choose Girls who Code?   This organization developed a nation-wide program with clubs in all 50 states who have served over 90,000 girls to date.  They focus on serving underrepresented populations (socioeconomic, race, ethnicity, etc.) and they get results!  Club alumni are largely choosing computer science and related fields (at a rate of 15 times the national average).  Black and Latina alumni are pursuing these degrees at an even higher rate (16 times the national average).

Programming jobs are the fastest growing, 50% faster than the market overall.  Half of the jobs in the top income quartile (>$57,000 per year) are in occupations which commonly require coding skills from job applicants.   Those jobs pay $22,000 more annually.<

Girls are being left behind in technology fields.  The gender gap in technology is growing (37% of tech jobs were held by women in 1995, it has dropped to 24% as of 2017).  The Computer Science major is overwhelmingly chosen by males – only 1 in 5 are female.  Girls confidence and interest in computing drop drastically after age 12.

Our Program Vision:  increase familiarity with coding and computer science by teaching girls to code in a fun engaging way.  Expose girls to career options in STEM and coding fields.  Increase confidence in computer science.  Develop problem-solving skills and perseverance.

Program Overview:  The program will have two main components; Coursework – 16 weeks, building curriculum and group project work, in which teams will work to produce a functional app to address a specific need. Career Exposure – Weekly presentations from local professionals in STEM careers.

How to Support and Program and Get Involved –  Learn more or donate to the project fund on this website.   Contact Girls Who Code Chairperson, Morgan Gleasman at jlrockford@jlrockford.org or by phone at 815-399-4518.