GM is teaming up with Girls Who Code (GWC), the national no-profit seeking to help close the gender gap in STEM education and professional fields. The partnership will see GM provide a $250,000 grant to help grow GWC’s Clubs, an after-school program that provides free activities for students in community centers and academic institutions to help boost computing and other technical skills and encourage more women to enter the high-tech workforce in the U.S.
GM CEO Mary Barra explained in a press release that she’s interested in promoting STEM education because her own success owes much to her early studies and career as an engineer. Barra and GWC founder and CES Reshma Saujani are hosting 30 students from the Girls Who Code program at the North American Auto Show for a launch event with workshops covering vehicle connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving and also future mobility solutions like car sharing.
Barra and GM also think it’s important to do something to help reverse a troubling trend identified in recent research by Accenture conducted in partnership with GWC that found the percent of women in the workforce employed in computing tasks has dropped from 37 percent to 24 percent between 1995 and today. The hope is that through activities like those GM and GWC plan to provide via this partnership, that trend can be reversed, leading to a potential tripling of women in computing fields over the next decade.
Hosts for these events include GM’s director of Maven car-sharing Julia Steyn, VP of Tax & Audit Victoria McInnis, EVP of Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis, Electric and Autonomous vehicles executive chief engineer Pam Fletcher and more. Top GM execs will also be working with GWC clubs and students throughout the coming year.