Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This woman is waging a quiet war on tech's gender gap - Fortune

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is partnering with big Silicon Valley companies to teach young girls to love computer science.

Reshma Saujani is a former hedge fund lawyer, New York City deputy public advocate and the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress (she lost a primary race in 2010). In the spring of 2012, she shifted gears and launched Girls Who Code, a non-profit that aims to close the gender gap in technology and engineering.
In a relatively short amount of time, Saujani has gotten the likes of Twitter  TWTR -3.88% , General Electric  GE -0.85% , Square and Google  GOOG 0.08%  to sign on to her initiative: two-month long programs that teach young women to code and offers mentorships. The companies host the girls at their headquarters; Square and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has been a big supporter.
Saujani also been outspoken about the so-called “brogrammer” culture that has spread in Silicon Valley companies and why getting more girls to code isn’t a moral issue, but rather an economic necessity. (Hint: There is a growing talent shortage in technology.) We recently caught up with Saujani to find out more about her take on the challenges and opportunities in closing the gender gap.
Edited excerpts:
Fortune: How do girls get turned off of computer science?

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