In college and during her career, Kimberly Bryant often found herself the only black female scientist in the room. The biotech engineer founded the Bay Area non-profit Black Girls CODE in 2011 so that today's young girls will never find themselves in that position. Bryant realized that it wasn't a lack of interest in science that led to a dearth of diversity in her field; it was a lack of access. Black Girls CODE's goal is to drive access and exposure, closing the digital divide.
Black Girls CODE introduces young girls of color to computer programming, mobile app development, robotics and other STEM fields, so the girls can learn how to build the tools they want to see in the world. The non-profit is a global organization, with chapters in Oakland, Calif., Atlanta, New York and even South Africa, with expansion to eight more cities planned for next year. Every chapter targets girls of color between the ages of 7 and 17, formative years for capturing the girls' interest in STEM and building their self-confidence.