When Bryant’s daughter Kai was in middle school, she began to follow in the footsteps of her engineer mom.
“I was trying to find ways to nurture that talent in her. I was looking for opportunities outside of school. What I saw mirrored what I saw in the industry: Lots of boys, very few girls and not very many people of color at all,” Bryant says.
Kai attended a summer program at Stanford University that teaches kids how to code. She was the only African American and one of just a few girls enrolled. Bryant did not want her daughter to feel isolated as she had in her electrical engineering studies.
So she created a camp of her own. In 2011, Bryant launched Black Girls Code, which introduces girls of color to computer science with the goal of building a new generation of coders. It has introduced more than 4,000 girls in nine cities to computer science. By 2040, Bryant wants to reach 1 million girls whom she calls “tech divas.”
Young women in the program “find their voice,” she says. “We are creating a powerful community of women skilled and confident about what they can create in the workplace.”
Her students heading to Dartmouth, Princeton and Spelman to study computer science “will change the face of technology,” she says.