Kimberly Bryant; Sisterhood Leader Teaches Young Girls about Coding Language
There have been recent studies that have concluded that there is a large gap in women of color involved in technology. They spend a large amount of time updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts, but a small percentage of black women are in the computer science business. One woman is hoping to change that with an organization known as Black Girls Code.
Memphis, TN native, Kimberly Bryant started Black Girls Code in October of 2011, in order to provide young and pre-teen African American girls the opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming during the stage when they are thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. With the launch of the organization, Bryant hopes to close the digital gap for colored girls.
During an interview with Lauren DeLisa Coleman, Bryant explained that her strong focus in math and science led her to an engineering career at Vanderbilt University. For over 15 years, she has worked in the Biotech/Pharma industry in a variety of leadership roles in entertainment management. She is currently a Senior Biotech Project Manager, where she works with clients on projects like IT upgrades, manufacturing design projects and technical transfer projects.
“I began to network in the tech community and attend technical events where I found myself one of very few women and minorities,” Bryant told Coleman. “I felt a very strong drive to reach back to my community and help other women of color discover many opportunities for career growth and achievement in technology.”
Bryant also told Personal Democracy Media that fewer women graduate with computer science degrees, and of those few women graduates, three percent of them are African Americans.
Black Girls Code offers web courses, as well as both web development and mobile app development, robotics and game design.
“We are slowly but surely redefining the image of what it means to be a geek,” Bryant said. “Our goal is to become the girl scouts of technology.”
The Black Girls Code mission is to “introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.”
Bryant’s organization has already trained over 1,200 to 1,500 young women and girls. Bryant aims to reach one million girls with her organization by the year 2040.She also admitted that the course is transformative and can have a multiplier effect. A student of hers took a course and graduated at the top of her class and even began training other girls at Black Girls Code and at her own school.
To see a list of upcoming Black Girls Code events, follow this link