S&P Global, the leading financial ratings firm has teamed with Girls in Tech to offer free online coding courses for 350 "girls and women around the world."
The eight-week course is focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. Students only need a web browser and an Internet connection.
Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, said: "No matter where she may be located, what social constraints she may have, we want to make sure that all girls and women have access to technical skills that will define their future."
S&P will provide each student with "eMentors" recruited from its global workforce of around 20,000 in 31 countries. Mentors play a critical role in the success of female students moving into high-tech jobs especially if they come from communities without any female role models in technical professions -- which is nearly universal.
There's a long pipeline of skilled female tech workers that needs to be filled from younger female students before US tech corporations will be able to significantly improve diversity in the workplace. Some companies such as S&P are willing to look ahead and prime the pump.
"We realize the importance of a diverse workforce and are committed to supporting the next generation of women leaders in technology, math and analytics," said S&P Chief Information Officer Krishna Nathan.
[The Global Classroom begins April 10, 2017 to May 26, 2017. Please visit: http://globalclassroom.girlsintech.org/.]
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I'm a big fan of Girls in Tech and its founder Adriana Gascoigne. I've known her since she founded the organization in 2007 here in San Francisco and now it's the world's largest non-profit focused on educating females in high-tech skills. She's recruited more than 50,000 members organized into 60 chapters around the world.
Adriana's leadership has been fearless and persistent and she has kept the organization stubbornly focused on its mission. And I greatly admire how she's never distracted by the small-minded critics that pop up from time to time, because of her use of "Girls..."
Here is a quote from a 2008 interview:
"It is important to embrace femininity, to embrace girliness," says Ms Gascoigne. "Too many women think they need to be more like men to succeed. You don't."
Ms Gascoigne says she was lucky growing up, her parents encouraged her to be very self-confident, but that's not true for many women. Being in a heavily male dominated workplace can be intimidating. It was this realization that led Ms Gascoigne to create the Girls in Tech organization.