When I was young, I read in a magazine about this new thing called “the Internet.” I saw it as this new uncharted territory, and it seemed really appealing to people like myself, who are tinkerers and who really want to try things out and explore them. I saw this as a new opportunity.
The generation before me really had to work hard. They were trailblazers. Today, it’s not easy, but it’s interesting to see such a great momentum with the young females who are interested in coding. They want to dive in and get their hands in it. So it’s really important to have women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields because women bring a balance and a unique perspective to a team.
Girls Who Code is a fantastic non-profit. They have this very ambitious goal of educating 1 million girls by 2020 to learn how to code. I was excited about the partnership, so I raised my hand to start up the Northern California presence. We have set up clubs and are working with volunteers to go in and teach elementary- and middle-school girls, and even high-school girls, to learn how to code. There’s such a large gap in the number of young females who are in computer science. By teaching girls how to code, we can teach them that they can become engaged in that type of activity going forward in their career.
Today we’re at the confluence of two historic moments: Unparalleled access to STEM education through things like Code.org, Khan Academy, or Girls Who Code, and multiple successful women role models who show women are and can be successful in technology.
So I encourage women to go get their hands on a piece of technology that interests them and build something cool. You will immediately be shaping the world you live in for the better.