When we come to work at Twitter, we want to ensure that voices across the organization are heard and identities are represented. For the women working on the engineering side of our company, much of that means working to ensure more women have access to careers in this space, and the tools early on to navigate the industry. Luckily, we work in a place that encourages this mindset, and that is why it is so important to invest time in organizations like Girls Who Code.
For the fifth consecutive year, Twitter has partnered with Girls Who Code, an organization committed to closing gender disparities in computer science. Since we began our partnership with Girls Who Code, we have hosted 10 summer programs including San Francisco, Boston, New York, and as of this year, Seattle. This year, 40 high school girls in the San Francisco and Seattle areas had the chance to spend their summer with us and learn more about working in the tech space.
"I had heard of Girls Who Code from my friend, who was a former student, and one day went to their website. Within a couple of seconds I knew I had to get involved. This summer was one of the best experiences I could have been a part of and I have Twitter, the teaching staff and the girls to thank for that. The girls were kind, curious and resilient; traits I think are essential when you're learning something new." -Chely Cordova, GWC SF Teaching Assistant
The girls spent the first five weeks of the program learning computer science fundamentals — there is no requirement to be familiar with computer science beforehand—and the last two weeks developing their own projects. They learned how to code in a variety of different programming languages, and got an inside look at the industry through speaker events, networking opportunities and industry field trips.
"Because of Twitter, I was lucky enough to spend 7 weeks inspiring young women to be brave, take chances, support each other, build things, and yes, learn to code. We were responsible for taking a classroom of 20 high school students from diverse backgrounds who have never programmed before and had 7 weeks to get them to the point where they can make some truly impressive projects and presentations. The girls were lucky to be in a place like Twitter where they could easily get feedback on what they are working on or on what path their lives could take from their mentors and other Twitter role models. " - Kayla Meduna, Girls Who Code SIP Instructor at Twitter Seattle
A key part of the program focused on mentorship. Each girl received regular mentoring sessions with full-time female Twitter employees, to receive career advice and ask any questions they might have.
“As someone who had a less-than-average experience with Computer Science at school, I felt a bit discouraged, but this program went above and beyond my expectations. At Twitter, the environment was friendly and helpful and the field trips we took helped change my previous ideas about Computer Science. Before, Girls Who Code seemed like a program for others, something I couldn't do, but now I realize I am a girl who codes, from now and forever.” - Sage, Girls Who Code student at Twitter Seattle
Supporting organizations like Girls Who Code is core to Twitter’s mission. We want to help make sure girls everywhere know they have what it takes to one day excel in this industry. As more and more jobs move toward tech, we want to help ensure a future where no doors are closed for those looking for opportunities.
“I don't know how to write this in a non-cheesy way, especially when all I have is Python and HTML in my mind right now, but Girls Who Code was an amazing experience, and now I have tons of new friends and experience coding. Twitter was a very supportive and loving environment, and they gave us a lot of free stuff which makes me happy :) I will always remember this experience with happy thoughts (see what I mean? Cheesy af.)” - Ellen, Girls Who Code student at Twitter Seattle
The girls brought with them so much energy and excitement, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for these incredible girls!