Ford Joins with Girls Who Code in Silicon Valley to Educate the Next Generation of Women, Close STEM Gender Gap

  • Ford is expanding its commitment to grow high school girls’ tech
    talent by providing them the skills and resources necessary to pursue
    careers in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields
  • Ford’s collaboration with Girls Who Code includes mentorship and work
    at Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto for up to 180 young
    women in the Bay Area
  • The initiative is part of Ford’s expanding community commitment in
    Northern California, which includes an investment of more than $1
    million with Ford Fund and Northern California Ford dealers

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto is joining with Girls
Who Code
to help close the gender gap in technology and engineering
fields.

As part of the collaboration, Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic
arm of Ford, will support the education and professional growth of Girls
Who Code club members in Northern California, serving more than 180
young women in grades six to 12 in the Bay Area.

The Ford Palo Alto team will provide mentorship and instruction to club
members, and help them engage in hands-on experience at the company’s
Silicon Valley research lab.

“The use of technology is growing exponentially among young people, yet
it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract them to
technology-related educational programs,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford chief
information officer. “Ford is working with Girls Who Code to educate
them on the many exciting career opportunities available in the fields
of science, technology, engineering and math. This kind of outreach
grows more important each year.”

Women are especially underrepresented in the tech industry, making up
just 18 percent of computer science graduates in the United States. That
is down from 27 percent in 2001 and from 37 percent in 1984.

Ford’s work with Girls Who Code is part of its expanding community
commitment in Northern California. Earlier this year, Ford and Ford Fund
announced an investment of more than $1 million in education, safety and
disaster relief in a new initiative with Northern California Ford
dealers.

Ford’s STEM commitment

Ford’s national commitment to science, engineering, technology and math
education began more than 30 years ago. Its ultimate goal is to inspire
interest in technology and innovation, which is not only critical to
Ford, but to the world’s future development. By supporting education in
these areas, Ford can create opportunities connecting the company and
its employees directly with youth and the community.

Ford’s national STEM efforts include working with colleges, high
schools, founding academies for high school-age students, a high school
science and technology program, sponsorship of FIRST®
Robotics teams and scholarship funding.

Challenges ahead

The number of technology-related degrees awarded in the United States is
rising, but men alone cannot meet the demand. U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts jobs in tech fields will grow to more than 9 million
by 2022 – an increase of about 1 million jobs since 2012. Women must
close the gap.

Yet with only 0.4 percent of high school girls selecting computer
science as a college major, it is essential to inspire young women to
pursue higher education and careers in technology.

“We are especially excited at this expanded collaboration because Ford
is an institution with longevity in STEM careers for women,” said Reshma
Saujani, founder and CEO, Girls Who Code. “The support will enable us to
further our mission of providing young women with the resources
necessary to one day work for Ford or any number of other technology
companies.”

Through its summer immersion program and club programs throughout the
country, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate and
equip young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and
career opportunities in computing. By pairing instruction in robotics,
Web design and mobile development with mentorship and access to top
engineers, Girls Who Code aims to close the gender gap in technology and
expose students to real-life role models.

“We are pleased to support an organization that mirrors our commitment
to developing young minds and inspiring them to work in STEM-related
careers,” said Dragos Maciuca, Ford technical director, Research and
Innovation Center Palo Alto.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford
Motor Company
, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the
company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company
provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit
www.corporate.ford.com.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close
the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and
Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to
inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to
pursue 21st century opportunities. By the end of 2015, Girls Who Code
will have reached 10,000 girls in more than 40 states. Additional
information is available at 
http://girlswhocode.com/.

For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and
video, visit www.media.ford.com.

Contacts

Ford Motor Company
Alan Hall
313.337.9618
ahall32@ford.com
or
Todd
Nissen
313.322.4898
tnissen@ford.com