Leveling the Playing Field for Women in CS with DonorsChoose and Codecademy

I’m proud to announce that Codecademy is partnering with DonorsChoose.org and Google in an effort to double the number of high school girls studying Computer Science. Google.org has committed $1 million to fund $125 DonorsChoose rewards for girls who complete a special Codecademy course. Meanwhile, teachers can earn an additional $500 in classroom rewards when four of their students make it through the course.

Education in critical skills should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their gender, where they live, their income, or any other factor. When we started Codecademy, there was a gap between the skills needed to find a job and the education available to students across the world. Programming, in particular, showed a massive achievement gap, with females representing only 12% of Computer Science degree graduates. We think fixing this problem requires efforts on many fronts: increasing the availability of education, providing role models for future students, and incentivizing students and their teachers to take the first step towards learning CS. We hope that today’s announcement will bolster the number of students who are exposed to Computer Science and choose to study it later in their academic careers.

Today’s partnership has another benefit beyond introducing more women to Computer Science. By working with DonorsChoose.org, we’re ensuring that the $1m in rewards that are disbursed help to improve access to technology and classroom materials. Every time a student completes a Codecademy course, they are helping to purchase new materials, like tablet PCs, textbooks, and more, for their classrooms. Not only are we better preparing our students, but we’re better preparing our classrooms as well.

At Codecademy, we spend every day focusing on how to increase access to the skills that everyone needs to find a job in the twenty-first century. Today’s announcement is one part of the solution, but it’s not the only one. Codecademy, along with DonorsChoose.org, Google, and so many others, will continue to work to make sure a great education is accessible to all.