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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Can We Get a Critical Mass of Women in Tech Within a Decade?


Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani

"The only way you change the misogyny and sexism that you're seeing in the Valley is pure infiltration. Numbers, numbers, numbers," says Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani.

Credit: LaSTEMA.org

Silicon Valley has a gender problem, one that many of the largest technology companies have said they want to fix. But how do you hire more women if they've already been discouraged from pursuing tech and engineering when they were in school? And how do get young women and girls interested in coding before they start their careers if they don't see other women in those jobs already?

It's a problem that Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, wants to solve. Her nonprofit is trying to close the Silicon Valley gender gap within 10 years with after-school clubs and summer programs specifically geared at getting more girls interested in coding and careers in tech. In an interview, she talks about how a failed bid for Congress started it all, how some of the biggest tech companies responded to her elevator pitch, and why the real problem is bro culture. 

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