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Girls Who Code: inspiring a generation of change-makers

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Reshma Saujani CEO of Girls Who Code, joined Ginni Rometty on stage at IBM Interconnect to discuss how IBM has supported the company growth and has helped young girls break barriers with the technology industry.

Reshma Saujani CEO of Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani CEO of Girls Who Code

As a politician, Reshma visited hundreds of schools and the lack of females in the IT classes made her question where women sit in the tech industry, after researching she found out that today, less than 18% of women do IT majors.

Moving in the right direction

5 years after the company began (in 2012), IBM have sponsored summer camps, helping 40,000 girls in over 50 states to learn to code and 100% of the girls who attended these summer camps intend to major or minor in a computer tech course. Considering only 7,000 graduated in computer science in 2016, it is clear this is moving in the right direction.

Watson platform

These camps teach girls how to use Watson API, Bluemix. One girl created an app to help children with autism to connect with their friends, which shows this is creating a generation of change makers to help people. To help those with autism, or those who are battling cyber bullying.

Three summer camp attendees: Karen, Michelle and Madison were welcomed to the stage. They described what they did using Bluemix workshop to create a Watson interactive chatbot, specifically using the tone analyser. They later used the platform for their end of summer project because it was so interesting and exciting.

Supporting Girls Who Code

IBMs continued support means that girls across America are able to learn about the applications and the processes involved in coding. The girls on stage said being mentored by female IBMers was incredibly inspiring and the best experience is the chance to spend time, collaborate and work in a real tech company who supports women in the tech field.

Reshma and Ginni both agree that it is so possible to inspire young girls by showing them what coding is and how they can use it to benefit them and those around them. They can use tech to solve the things they’re passionate about rather than having to wait for someone else to do it.

For a free 30-day Bluemix trial visit our website and to find out more about Girls Who Code, visit their website. Why not tell us how you think IBM can continue to help boys and girls be more equal from school in the comments below.

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