Pulse news magazine

Volume 30, September 2020

Closing the gender gap in STEM

Girls Who Code

Our engineers set the pace of innovation in our markets, pushing the limits of what is possible.

At BAE Systems, we are committed to empowering the next generation and expanding engineering opportunities – particularly for students from historically underrepresented populations. Through our Tech Power Grant Program, we aim to inspire students to use innovation to solve issues in our communities. That is why we are proud to name Girls Who Code a Tech Power Partner.

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization on a mission to close the gender gap in technology. Students who participate use computer science to address a problem in their school, their community, or the world. BAE Systems shares this goal of giving all young people the chance to be change-makers, solving our communities’ most urgent problems.

As a premier sponsor of the Girls Who Code at Home program, we encourage and inspire young women to pursue careers in STEM through virtual education. The program was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides girls aged 8-18 with computer science activities designed to help them learn something new, build connections, and be empowered to take action in the face of challenges.

“Now more than ever, girls need support to bridge the inequities in educational access. Sponsoring Girls Who Code at Home is particularly important during this turbulent time,” said Elizabeth Harrington, head of Community Investment. “While many of our nation’s students are out of school, we must continue to provide girls access to STEM educational experiences and programming.”

Diversity & Inclusion in STEM is crucial to drive change across our industry. Our partnership with Girls Who Code enables young people to continue to build critical STEM skills at home and ensures that the organization does not lose progress on closing the gender gap in tech. Girls Who Code is building the largest pipeline of female engineers by focusing attention on available STEM career opportunities. Through their educational programs and advocacy, they raise awareness and recognize the contribution female engineers make in our world.

The Code at Home program has already engaged more than 1  million people around the globe since its inception in March. That’s almost 15,000 school buses full of students.

Want to get involved? Girls Who Code releases new activities each Monday, which are available to students, parents, and educators for free on the Code at Home website. Recent activities include:

  • Virtual Hike: Use JavaScript to create a virtual hike, so you and your friends can visit a state or national park, or even travel to a different country.
  • Build an Activist Toolkit: Activists use the web to organize around causes they care about, connect people, and take action. Learn the basics of project planning, HTML, and CSS to build a website around a cause that is important to you.
  • Debug the Maze: A computer scientist writes code, or instructions, for a computer to do a task. It may be surprising to know that many programmers actually spend most of their time debugging, or fixing problems, in their code. Get a chance to debug code and move a character through a maze.
To learn more about Girls Who Code at Home, or to sign up to receive new activities via email, please visit girlswhocode.com/code-at-home.

By Melissa Bernard, Community Investment, Burlington, Massachusetts