Kimberly founded Black Girls Code in 2011, a non-profit dedicated to teaching girls of color coding skills. Bryant founded San Francisco-based Black Girls Code in 2011 as a way to close the digital divide for girls of color. She previously had worked as an engineer in the manufacturing, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
Innovating in Field of Work:
BGC is currently a very small organization, and Kimberly has created a model to support girls around the country through workshops with a focus on girls of color, helping them gain skills in a subject that’s under-taught in most of their schools, and gain confidence.
So far, Black Girls CODE has served about 3,000 girls, many on scholarship, in six different cities to date. The girls focus in technology fields such as robotics, video game design, mobile phone application development and computer programming. Bryant aims to reach one million girls by 2050 and become the “girl scouts” of technology.
• Kimberly is changing the image of what it means to be a “techie”. The field should be open and diverse.
• Awarded the White House Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion award in 2013, celebrating people “who are doing extraordinary things to expand technology opportunities for young learners—especially minorities, women and girls.
Reinvention / Momentum:
• She has deep experience in biotech and pharma and left that lucrative career to fill a great gap that she saw in our country’s education of girls of color.
• Kimberly had a transformational moment when she was considering a healthcare start-up and attended meetups in the Bay area. She found that she was the only woman and only woman of color in the room. And yet there are so many tech opportunities especially in the Bay area. Her mantra, “If you can code you will never go hungry out there,”
• Instead of starting her own firm, Kimberly decided to make the change that she wanted to see in the world. She figured she had about ten years to make a difference for her daughter to make her road a little bit easier. Her first class had twelve girls. Today they have workshops on Building a Webpage in a Day, National STEM Video Game Challenge, iPad Film School, Game Design, Mobile App Development, Ruby, Python and Web Design Workshops.
“Kimberly asks if the next Steve Jobs could be a girl of color. That is the future she promotes.”