A female coder participates in a hack-a-thon

Why I Joined Girls Who Code and Why You Should, Too

Why I Joined Girls Who Code and Why You Should, Too

If you’re an avid LinkedIn scroller like me, you may have seen a few impactful, women-led organizations on your feed. Today, there are many growing mentorship programs and nonprofits such as Girls Who Invest, Girls Who Code and Girls Who Consult. These empowering programs aim to elevate women and create an unrivaled, nationwide network in the fields of finance, technology and consulting. The organizations focus on inspiring and equipping women in these fields with the necessary skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities, and with this, women can feel more confident in their abilities and feel more valued in the workplace. That’s why I joined one. 

The asset management, technology and consulting industries are dominated by men. Girls Who Invest has a mission to increase the number of women in portfolio management and increase executive leadership in the asset management industry, with the ultimate goal of having 30% of the world’s investable capital managed by women by the year 2030. When I first came across Girls Who Invest on LinkedIn, I was so excited to see how dedicated they are to recruiting hardworking women who are ready to succeed in this industry. I had never heard of a program like this available to students, but I knew I wanted to do more research on similar ones. Girls Who Invest shines a light on issues in the workplace, like the lack of diversity in investing. “That’s not good for anyone: investment firms, women, and most importantly, investors,” they said on their website. Aiming to transform the asset management industry, the Girls Who Invest program is super inspiring and I encourage women who are interested in this field to apply for their intensive 10-week educational programs. Through these programs, students are able to learn from some of the most respected business professors in the nation, while also having a strong nationwide network of women with similar goals and interests. As an eager-to-learn student at The University of Texas at Austin, I am grateful for how accessible these programs are for women on my campus. 

I am involved in Girls Who Code, whose purpose is to build the world’s largest pipeline of future female engineers. They have over 8,500 programs worldwide that consist of clubs and college loops. Before joining the group at UT, I often questioned myself on why I wanted to be a part of Girls Who Code, even though I study psychology. I remember my good friend, a computer science major, asking why a girl majoring in psychology would want to learn how to code. As our future workplace is growing more to empower women while also adapting to a digital future, skills that Girls Who Code has given me — such as problem-solving skills, communication and attention to detail, will benefit me wherever I go. The thing is, you do not have to be interested in pursuing a career in a specific field to be a part of any of these women-led programs. I just stand for their mission: to empower college women nationwide.

One of my favorite pieces of advice in college is to join organizations that simply inspire you. They will push you to become your best self academically, while also learning technical skills that are vital and transferable to any field. Through this organization, I am able to completely plug in and participate in Hackathons, learn coding skills and meet other intelligent women who share similar goals. And, who knows, what if I do decide to become a future software engineer one day? These programs will provide you with a network of women who will support you in every way and will go to great lengths to watch you succeed. 

In our ever-changing world, it is so important to uplift women and create a welcoming environment in the workplace, especially in fields dominated by men. These programs have grown so much over the past few years, and they are very successful in following through and going beyond their mission and goals for empowering women in these fields. As I continue to scroll through LinkedIn, I am so excited to see so many more women-led nonprofit organizations that share similar missions. The approach of each of these programs is simple, yet all-inclusive. They provide core education, mentoring and even paid internship opportunities. With the rise of these organizations and supporting them, we are contributing to creating the next generation of diverse, driven and motivated female leaders.