Tag Archives: Kimberly Bryant

Microsoft Invests in STEM for Young Black Girls

Kimberly Bryant

Microsoft, the world’s biggest maker of computer software, announced a partnership with Black Girls Code and the Technology Access Foundation to bring STEM education to students of color. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the $500,000 partnership.  (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)

Black Girls Code provides programming and technology education to young and pre-teen girls of color. The curriculum is provided through clubs  and taught by women engineers of color. BGC can be found in 13 cities across the U.S. and, with the funding from Microsoft, will launch their 14th chapter in Seattle.

Founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, explains her mission;  “By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.”

Trish Millines Dziko

  Technology Access Foundation provides STEMbyTAF. Former Microsoft executive Trish Millines Dziko founded STEMbyTAF in 1997. The program is an out-of-school program that teaches technology skills, provides internships and college prep to students of color in the Seattle area.

Since its launch TAF has opened its own school and become a model for creating learning environments that erase racial disparity in academic achievement. STEMbyTAF is focused on duplicating their successful formula in other schools. TAF has partnerships with Amazon, Comcast, Expedia, Google and Boeing.

Black Girls Code also has partnerships with several of Silicon Valley’s top technology companies including Google, Oracle, Adobe, Verizon and AT&T.

 

Black Girls Code Gets Next to Google

Black girlsBlack Girls Code a non-profit group that teaches young minority girls tech skills is getting next to Google. 

Black Girls Code and Google opened a new space inside Google’s building in Manhattan. Purchased by Google in 2010 the$2.8 million facility is a gift from Google to Black Girls Code. Google believes that providing the new space will allow Black Girls Code to introduce more students to more tech companies, and also attract volunteers and mentors.

Google, like many tech companies, struggles to diversify its work force with people of color. A recent report on Google’s efforts revealed that the company’s efforts are not having spectacular results. A blog post from Google’s Vice President of People Operations Nancy Lee  said; “We saw encouraging signs of progress in 2015, but we’re still far from where we need to be.”

William Floyd Google’s Head of External Affairs added, “We need a tech sector that looks like the society it serves, and groups like Black Girls CODE are ensuring that we can cultivate and access talent in communities of color.”

Founder of Black Girls CODE Kimberly Bryant, said Google has hosted many student workshops in its New York office. She believes that the partnership with Google will allow the nonprofit to build a permanent teaching space.

“They’re able to influence these girls that Google is a company they might want to come work for once they graduate,” Bryant said.

Black Girls Code was founded in 2011 with the lofty goal of educating one million girls with technology skill needed to compete in the technology job sector.

Research by Georgia Tech University found that in 23 states, less than 10 African-American students took the Advanced Placement computer science exam. According to the National Association for Women and Information Technology African-American women made up about 3 percent of the nation’s computing workforce.

“If you look specifically at students of color, and even more specifically at girls from African-American, Latina and Native American communities, it’s important to reach them before they get to high school,” Bryant said.

About 1,000 girls are served by Black Girls Code in the New York area. Thanks to Google Bryant hopes that it can double or triple that in the next few years.