Enabling the next generation of developers: Six years of partnering with Girls Who Code

BlackRock Co-Sponsors of our Girls Who Code partnership speak with BlackRock volunteers about their experience working with the students each summer.

At BlackRock we are encouraged, enabled and recognized for social impact contributions including volunteering, donations, and grants. BlackRock’s social impact mission is to help more and more people, beyond the reach of BlackRock’s core business, achieve financial security and participate in sustainable prosperity.

In the technology organizations across BlackRock, we are also enabled to take this a step further, and work with non-profit organizations that are accelerating impact through technology. With a technical skillset, we have a responsibility to share our knowledge and help build the next generation of engineers.

Our social impact work in the tech space includes a number of partnerships we have with organizations across the globe such as the tech non-profit accelerator, Fast Forward, Big City Bright Future in London and of course, Girls Who Code.

Today, we are interviewing a few of our colleagues’ who work on our Girls Who Code partnership. Each summer, BlackRock hosts a Girls Who Code class in our NYC office and San Francisco office. For 2020, and now 2021, we have hosted these classes virtually.

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Rebecca, you were a teacher first for Girls Who Code before you even started working at BlackRock. What keeps you volunteering each year?

-Rebecca Jellinek, Program Lead in NY

Maya, as a mentor for Girls Who Code what is your advice to students wanting to break into the tech industry?

-Maya Ram, BlackRock Mentor

Ka Ki, as a former student of Girls Who Code yourself what was the most valuable element that you learned?

-Ka Ki Fung, BlackRock Mentor

Reshma, as a mentor, what does Girls Who Code mean to you and why do you keep volunteering? Bhatia, BLK Mentor:

-Reshma Bhatia, BlackRock Mentor

As the BlackRock sponsors for Girls Who Code we are so proud to support such an inspiring organization. Our partnership with Girls Who Code goes beyond volunteer hours. As you can see from the conversations with our colleagues, Girls Who Code means a lot to our employees as does empowering women and diverse students to break into the tech industry.

Alexis McKeown, BlackRock Digital Workplace lead & Girls Who Code Co-Sponsor for SF

It is meaningful to me because as a woman in tech, I so wish I had a program like that when I was younger. Not only the camaraderie and the sisterhood that is created by this program but also the skills are invaluable and really give the young women going through the program a leg up. As a hiring manager who struggles to find female talent, I am so excited about the pipeline of incredibly diverse and talented women this program is creating.

Neeraj Goel, BlackRock Engineering lead for Aladdin & Girls Who Code Co-Sponsor for SF

Gender diversity is a big issue in the technical field. I have first-hand experience working in a team where the gender diversity made a huge difference in brining different ideas, bringing the team together, and building a high impact team. It was especially visible since my team went to start from no gender diversity and I could see the change of how we operated and how we got better as a team. We cannot solve the diversity problem by hiring if we do not have diverse candidates to hire. Girls Who Code helps us build the diversity pipeline by giving exposure and hands-on experience with girls at the high school level. It’s critical for the girls to get excited at this early stage so they can eliminate the diversity problem we have in the engineering field. I’m grateful to be associated with the GWC program and proud of BlackRock to support the GWC. I’m also thankful to so many of my colleagues who help us with the growing the diversity in the tech field.

Learn more about Social Impact at BlackRock and Girls Who Code.

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