Opening Session

Reshma Saujani Headshot from TwitterReshma Saujani
Girls Who Code founder.


NOTE: In conferences, I always find myself balancing taking as many notes as I can and actually, y’know, listening to the speaker. So in this post, as well as the next series of posts, I give you my notes for the ALA Annual Conference session. I’ve tried to go and change any notes that have naught to do with anyone save little old moi. But I may have missed things. If you have any questions on anything, please let me know!

  • If I want to start a Girls Who Code School:
  • Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission to close the gender gap in technology
    • By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing-related fields. U.S. graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%.
  • Ms. Sujani background: Ran for Congress after quitting her job as a lawyer because she heard Hillary’s first concession speech. She lost. :-[
    • The loss made her wonder,  “Where are all the girls?”
  • 500K Computer Science (CS) jobs open right now, but only 40k CS majors graduate each year.
  • Only ¼ high schools offer CS classes
    • In ’97 37% CS graduates = Women
    • Today = 24%
  • There were more women in the first Mac team than any tech team today
  • Why?
    • Culture says PCs are for boys
    • “You cannot be what you cannot see.”
    • It’s a fad to be bad at math.
      • IT’s ok to say “I hate math” but not “I hate to read.” Why?
    • “We raise our girls to be perfect, we raise our boys to be brave.”
  • Girls Who Code (GWC) is in every state
  • Example of the societal imposed perfections girls strive for: A Girls Who Code teacher saw a blank screen after being called over. But when she hit undo, she saw the girl had tried but because it wasn’t perfect, she deleted it.
  • 2012 = 20 girls
  • Today = over 40k grad with CS degree
  • There’s a club in a homeless shelter in Winchester, Ma 
  • Secret Sauce
    • GWC Teaches Capabilities- teach them to speak up and be confident
    • GWC Teaches about Careers
    • GWC Creates a community- the average girl walks out and teaches 4 more girls to code
  • It’s working- 93% of girls go on to get a CS degree
  • Girls are so often more empathetic, teaching them to code would introduce so much more altruistic tech innovations.
  • Ms. Sujani has books (13- fic, nf, picture books, etc) are coming out 8/22/17

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