Girls Who Code CEO Tarika Barrett Creating a Path for Equity
The gender gap in tech starts pretty early. Look at computer. Science students. Roughly four out of five bachelor degrees in that field. Go to men. That's where the nonprofit girls who code aims to get girls interested in the field at a young age as early as third grade since it was founded in twenty twelve. Hundreds of thousands of girls have gone through its clubs and summer immersion programs. Winco vid meant more in person classes. They moved totally online than that actually allowed them to grow. Enrollment went up two hundred percent rica. Barrett took over as ceo of girls who code this year. She said they had to design their new model with the hardest to reach girls in mind. We knew our girls for driving too fast food parking lots to get wifi so we thought about life. We thought about hardware. We thought about living circumstances right often are girls. Couldn't even turn their cameras on because they were sharing a computer with other siblings and we tried to bring best practices in digital learning so shorter days live and asynchronous instruction small group work office hours and project based learning. Because we knew that we'd have to do that for our students and that we were doing the kinds of outreach and really being responsive to the needs of our community how did you design your courses specifically for slow internet connections so we sent out a survey to our participants asking everything. What do you need do need us to send you a computer. Do you have brought them. And even as they answered those questions. And we fill those gaps. We still had things happen in real time. We have teaching assistants. Who are former girls. Who code students. Who went through the summer immersion program there there with the facilitators in this virtual classroom to step in and trouble shoot at any given moment and so that coupled with both synchronous and asynchronous instruction meant that even if a girl got stuck with some tech thing that happened that could always be made up in office hours or there was always someone following up. And saying what do you need. And frankly we have to bring some of that thinking back into the fall even if we're in person because it really made the difference for so many students that we don't want to lose that kind of innovation.