In 2020, a projected 1.4 million computing jobs will become available in the United States. Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, is leading the next generation of women of color to join this burgeoning industry with the goal to train 1 million girls by 2040.
"I want to live in a world where I see more women-centered workplace cultures." – Kimberly Bryant
At SXSW 2019, Bryant lead a panel of current BGC students, alumni, and leading WoC role models including Alexandra Philip, Kai Morton, Aminata Dieng, and Olivia Ross. The panel discussed how to broaden the conversation on intersectionality to create more opportunities for girls of color in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and to drive social change movements powered by technology.
The students shared stories about battling imposter syndrome and the challenges they face when entering into a male-dominated tech environment. "I remind myself that I have the credentials," said Olivia Ross. "Understanding that I am prepared and I have been prepared makes it a lot easier for me to stand on my own, stand in my truth, and not allow external forces to make me feel like I'm not worthy to be in that space."
Engaging girls from grades K-12, Black Girls Code creates a supportive learning community that champions curiosity and imagination. Bryant describes the uniqueness of the Black Girls Code program and how it goes beyond solely teaching girls tech but also fosters the development of strong bonds. "Being at the top is great but if you don't have a community behind you, what is it worth?" added Kai Morton.
"The sisterhood element of our being is how we get through the hard times." – Kimberly Bryant
Watch the entire Featured Session with Kimberly Bryant, Behind the Click: Securing the Future for Black Women and Girls in Technology, to learn more about the Black Girls Code program and future technology leaders.
Kimberly Bryant is the 2019 SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame inductee. Read the SXSWorld article How Black Girls Code is Bridging the Digital Divide to further explore Bryant's mission.
Photo by Sean Mathis/Getty Images for SXSW