Imagine a world where our computer sciences classrooms are as diverse as our communities, a world where women in computing have a sisterhood to lean on, a world where that sisterhood creates real change for communities everywhere.
That’s the vision of Girls Who Code; that’s part of our vision too.
Girls Who Code, the nonprofit building the largest pipeline of future female engineers, was founded with a single mission: close the gender gap in technology. The gender gap in computing is getting worse — fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women.
Technology jobs are among the fastest growing in the United States; however, according to Girls Who Code, only 24 percent of computer science graduates today are women, as compared to 37 percent in 1995. And if we do nothing, in eight years the number of women in computing will decrease to just 22 percent.
When Girls Who Code formed in 2012, they started by serving 30 young females in New York City. Today, the organization has given 185,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada access to its programming.
At CNA, we understand that our future growth and success, and that of a global economy, depends on an educated and diverse workforce. We are no different than other industries; we too are plentiful with careers in technology. Joining forces with Girls Who Code will help close the gender gap in computing and technology — at CNA, and in the insurance industry and society at large. That’s why we partnered with Girls Who Code. That’s the change we need.
Through our partnership, rising high school juniors and seniors are selected to participate in the Summer Immersion Program each year at our global headquarters. During their summer, the girls learn computer science through real-world projects in art and storytelling, robotics, video games, websites and apps from Girls Who Code teaching staff.
In addition to classroom education, girls in the program receive exposure to the world of computer science, with field trips to major media and technology companies, as well as meetings with some of the top executives in the technology industry. CNA engages with the girls throughout the summer by hosting panel sessions, weekly one-on-one mentoring, field trips and events.
We recognize that CNA is just one small component of our ability to close the gender gap in technology; an important one nonetheless.
By partnering with Girls Who Code on the Summer Immersion Program, we are:
Helping provide girls an opportunity to be immersed in computer sciences;
Enabling a sisterhood like no other; and
Accelerating the number of women who choose a major in computer science or related fields.
We’ve seen firsthand the girls who come out of these programs. They are diverse and brilliant and kind and brave. They are going to create technologies that will change the world.
They — Girls Who Code — are the future. And we’re proud to be part of it.