Earlier this week, Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani (pictured above left) announced that the non-profit organization she founded will expand on the 19 clubs already approved in Canada by adding an additional 70, pending approval.
Launching in Canada last November, Girls Who Code is “dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology by teaching girls computer science, bravery, and sisterhood,” its Canadian website states. Their highly-respected clubs are free for girls between the ages of 13 to 18, who participate in a wide range computer science courses and fun online coding tutorials with the goal of helping them enter the technology field.
Canadian cities and towns, including Toronto, Ottawa, Stouffville, Milton, Mississauga, Pickering, Stratford, London, Saskatoon, Windsor and Whitby, will be the first to launch clubs, with others to follow soon.
And they couldn’t be coming at a better time. Even though Canada is ranked as one of the world’s leaders when it comes to gender equality – according to a 2017 McKinsey Global Institute study – that same study shows that our progress has stalled, showing gender gaps in seven of the 15 indicators, including STEM education and STEM occupations. In fact, the MGI study states that it would take Canada 140 years to reach full parity in STEM occupations at the current rate.
Founded in 2012 by Saujani, an American activist, lawyer and politician who was the first Indian-American woman to ever run for U.S. Congress, Girls Who Code has reached more than 90,000 girls across the United States so far. And in addition to it launching in Canada, it’s also making its way into the United Kingdom as well.
Saujani is also an author who has published three books, including “Women Who Don’t Wait In Line” and the New York Times bestseller “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World.” Her latest book, “Brave, Not Perfect,” was just released earlier this week, and aims to teach girls to embrace imperfection and bravery. “The problem is that perfect girls grow up to be women who are afraid to fail,” the book publisher’s website says. “It’s time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness.”