GE Sponsors Summer Immersion Program Aimed at Teaching Girls Computer Skills
Along with several notable companies, GE Software has announced that it will partner with Girls Who Code – a national non-profit organization that seeks to inspire, educate and equip girls with computing skills for the 21st century – to host a Summer Immersion Program at its headquarters in the greater Silicon Valley area.
The acclaimed seven-week course engages 20 local high school junior and senior girls in tech disciplines from mobile app development to robotics and web design.
The GE Software curriculum includes workshops on design thinking and user experience, seminars on security, robotics, data visualization, data science and a STEM panel featuring GE’s leading women in technology. New this year, the girls will make a trip to the University of San Francisco for an introduction to the school’s computer science program, tour of the facilities and opportunity to audit a class. The program culminates in the development of a product, which the girls present to their peers and GE Software technology experts.
“At GE, we consider diversity a competitive advantage and foundational to our success. I firmly believe organizations like Girls Who Code are essential to reversing the chasm between the skills on graduates’ resumes and the proficiencies necessary for making crucial advances in the convergence of big iron, software, analytics and data,” said Bill Ruh, vice president, GE Software.
Our partnership with Girls Who Code aligns with our goal to attract and support women working in the STEM field – with women holding an ever increasing number of technical roles at GE Software.
Currently, women make up the majority of the labor force nationwide but hold only 25% of the jobs in computing and technical fields. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in related fields, but women educated in the U.S. are only on pace to filling 3% of these positions.
“The gender gap isn’t just a Silicon Valley issue anymore,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.
The shortage of women in technical roles, whether it’s retail, entertainment or finance, is a massive crisis both in terms of innovation and socio-economic equality throughout the United States. Girls Who Code has established a successful track record of empowering girls to pursue majors and eventually careers in computer science, and we’re inspired that a powerhouse organization such as GE has invested in taking our movement to the next level this summer.
In addition to classroom education, girls in the program receive exposure to the world of computer science, with field trips to major companies in the media and technology fields, as well as meeting some of the top executives of technology companies. No prior coding experience is required.
This year marks GE’s second year participating and the Girls Who Code’s largest-ever expansion of its Summer Immersion Program. In 2014, the organization offered 19 programs and counted 375 participants; this year, Girls Who Code will offer 60 programs reaching close to 1,200 girls in nine cities nationwide. GE joins other program partners including Accenture, Adobe, AIG, AT&T, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Pixar Animation Studios, The Honest Company and Twitter in the critical movement to close the gender gap in the computing and technology sector.