As technology jobs continue to rise in importance, a troubling statistic shows that the number of women in the computing workforce dropped from 37 percent in 1995 to only 24 percent today. That’s a staggering drop, and one that the education program Girls Who Code is hoping to reverse. Today automaker GM announced it’s giving Girls Who Code a $250,000 grant to help bring after-school STEM clubs to thousands of underserved areas.
GM CEO Mary Barra says that her engineering education helped pave the way for her career. The automaker will not only be giving Girls Who Code a grant, but some of GM’s top female leaders will also be mentoring students and talking about the possibilities of a STEM-focused education.
The partnership will expand after-school programs in underserved communities. GWC Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani told Engadget that the grant from GM will help GWC build 5,000 clubs in rural and urban areas. Barra told Engadget “this is one of my personal passions. We’ve got to build a pipeline that focuses at the junior high and high school level.” Once those students enter the workforce, both GM and Girls Who Code are dedicated to helping build a community that will give female technology employees a place to talk about issues in the workforce.