Washington, DC – June 24, 2015 –
To empower more young women to pursue degrees and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, BSA | The Software Alliance, Lockheed Martin, and Georgetown University are sponsoring the Washington, DC, area’s inaugural Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program. The Girls Who Code program, kicking off June 24, will bring 60 young women from throughout the DC region to Georgetown University’s downtown campus for seven weeks of intensive instruction in computing skills, ranging from mobile app development to web design to robotics.
Steering more young women toward STEM fields is more important than ever, especially in Washington, DC, where only 15 percent of female students are interested in pursuing a career in STEM. On a nationwide scale, while 75 percent of female high school students indicated they are interested in fields and subjects of STEM, women account for only 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering, computer science, and physics.
In addition to learning to code, students will hear from influential industry leaders and government officials inside the classroom, and take field trips around DC to meet with leaders in technology and government. The Summer Immersion Program also includes informal mentorship opportunities focusing on career and educational development, where students will be paired with leading female executives from the DC area.
“Girls Who Code is helping shift the tech landscape to a more multi-dimensional one by teaching more girls to code, and encouraging more girls to focus on STEM learning. This dynamic is truly groundbreaking, and something that has the potential to benefit our economy as a whole,” noted Victoria Espinel, CEO and President of BSA | The Software Alliance. “It’s inspiring to me to be able to watch talented, young students who are so hungry to learn, and for BSA to be involved in helping close the existing gender gap in the field.”
"Sparking young minds to get excited about the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is critical to the future of our nation," said Stephanie C. Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions - Civil. "Lockheed Martin is proud to collaborate with groups like Girls Who Code so we can develop the next generation of scientists and engineers – the people that will help us continue to find solutions to the world’s biggest and most complex challenges."
"We're honored to partner in bringing this exceptional program to young women in our local community and to help these girls pursue and develop their interests in technology and education," said Lisa Singh, Georgetown University Professor of Computer Science, and co-founder of Georgetown Women Coders, a campus group that teaches women to code and now engages more than 500 students, faculty and staff.
2015 marks Girls Who Code’s largest-ever expansion of its Summer Immersion Program. The respected program has grown from 19 programs servicing 375 girls in 2014, to 60 programs reaching close to 1,200 girls in nine cities nationwide this summer.
“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 our DC Partners have invested in taking our movement to the next level this summer.”
BSA, Lockheed Martin, and Georgetown University join companies such as Accenture, Adobe, AIG, AT&T, Electronic Arts, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Pixar Animation Studios, The Honest Company, and Twitter in the critical movement to close the gender gap in the computing and technology sector.
For more information about Girls Who Code, visit www.girlswhocode.com.
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries around the world, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.
About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest and largest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown, today, is a major student-centered, international research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Washington, D.C., Doha, Qatar, and around the world. For more information about Georgetown University, visit www.georgetown.edu.
About Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at www.girlswhocode.com.