General Motors, Girls Who Code Announce Partnership
General Motors and Girls Who Code have announced a new partnership aimed at influencing middle school- and high school-aged girls to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.
GM is providing GWC with a $250,000 grant that will help the expansion of the latter’s Clubs programs, which increase free after-school activities for girls at different academic levels in the hopes of inspiring interest in STEM disciplines. This money will allow girls in disadvantaged communities to access education, mentorship, and activities geared toward stimulating interest in technology and engineering careers.
The program launch kicked off last week with a special event where 30 GWC students participated in various activities alongside GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and GWC Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani.
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“Becoming an engineer paved the way for my career,” said Barra. “It’s one of the reasons I am passionate about promoting STEM education to students everywhere. Partnering with Girls Who Code is one more step in GM’s commitment to inspiring and growing diverse future leaders. I’m extremely proud that some of GM’s top female leaders will spend time with the students, teaching them about the possibilities and rewards of a STEM education.”
“While we’re proud of our progress to date in closing the gender gap in technology, our work is just getting started. It’s never been a more urgent time to help our girls succeed in technology and engineering,” said Saujani. “We need more of our daughters to become engineers like Mary Barra, not just because these are goods jobs, but because having diverse thinkers in these roles makes our companies more innovative and competitive. I’m thrilled that our partnership with GM will help thousands of girls get access to top jobs and they’ll get to shape the products and services we use every day.”
Also participating in the event were MAVEN Director Julia Steyn; General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler; Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer, Global Electric & Autonomous Vehicles; and Sheri Hickok, executive director, Autonomous Vehicles Business Strategy & Execution Autonomous Partnerships and Fleets.
Girls Who Code was formed with the intention of turning back the tide of there being fewer women in computing careers. The percentage of the computing workforce made up of women has dropped from 37% in 1995 to 24% today.