Who Runs the World?

Words by Camilla Hopkinson | 3.8.21

Women Who Dare and Girls Who Dream

When Kimberly Bryant’s daughter got into gaming, Bryant signed her up for game design camp. She was one of the few girls in the group and the only child of color. Bryant took this personally—she was then an electrical engineer in biotech—and she realized girls lacked access to STEM subjects and tech skills. She was compelled to start Black Girls Code, a non-profit devoted to changing the face of technology by introducing girls of color to tech and computer science and building new entrepreneurs.

Bryant is helping girls earn a seat at the table in the tech world. Her efforts are anchored in good sense. Bryant says, “Women are early adopters. People of color are often the influencers of consumerism and tech products both on and off show. So when you look at who your customer base is, it makes good business sense to bring in women and diversity to the table as creators.” 


International Women's Day 2021: Kimberly Bryant Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code in a navy blazer, black sweater and jeans with a gemstone necklace and gold braceletPhotographer: Katie Thompson

We’re proud to support Kimberly’s effort to bring more women into the industry because we love female-led companies that dare to dream of putting women in a space where there aren’t many. We recently chatted with Bryant and one of the students of BGC and a volunteer teacher about the significance of BGC, what it means to challenge the old guard, and why the future looks bright for women who can code. 

“As a mother, really being just adamant about creating an opportunity for my daughter…. Every time that I tell that story it brings people to tears, but it’s because it’s real. This is real life around how this organization came to be and it’s still the center for me.”


Original Trailblazers

“One of my role models has always been Dr. Mae Jemison. She was the first African-American woman to become an astronaut and go into space,” says Bryant. “There’s not a huge age difference between the two of us, but she is one of those trailblazers who has a career in STEM and was a technologist well before there were many women of color that were seen in the technical frame. She’s always been a role model for me and the girls in our program.”

“Katherine Johnson and a lot of the other astronaut supporting personnel led by becoming computer scientists and working as literal computers and made such a difference in the history of our country. They embodied this ‘dare to dream’ notion that we want our girls to have.”

“We want the girls who come to BGC to have the space to dream really big dreams for themselves. And perhaps, create dreams for themselves that they did not even realize were attainable before.”


Addressing Intersectionality

“I think it’s important that as we continue to build these strategies around racial and equity and inclusion, we need to really take an intersectional lens approach, where we look not just at gender, but also at other identities and how those identities intersect and that the companies create programs that really address those intersectionalities.”


The Future Looks Bright

At just 12 years old, Jordyn has been a BGC student for four years. The Los Angeles-based seventh grader loves science class and building websites, thanks to BGC.“I learned how to make websites. And then in school, I also had a robotics class. So you learn how to make things talk and make things move.” What does Jordyn want to be when she grows up? “I’m thinking of being an architect,” she says. 



International Women's Day 2021: Jordyn, a 12-year-old Black Girls Code student in Los Angeles looking up. She wears a printed t-shirt and jeans.Photographer: Alexis Hunley


Samantha Broxton is a BGC Community Outreach Lead in Los Angeles.  The organization volunteer and leader came into the BGC universe through her daughter’s interest in Robotics. Samantha started getting involved with events and her role grew. As her daughter explored the tech side she saw BGC as a space for her to develop as a leader.  She’s realized that the organization isn’t only giving the girls a space to dream. “While my daughter was exploring one side,” Samantha says, “I was flexing my leadership muscles and growing in my own understanding of how I would fit in this world.”


International Women's Day 2021: Samantha Broxton does Community Outreach for Black Girls Code in Los Angeles. She wears a yellow dress and statement gold earrings. Photographer: Alexis Hunley


The Black Girls Code curriculum may focus on coding and technology, but for the girls and the women who take part, the spaces that Kimberly Bryant has built are about a whole lot more than computers. “For me,” Samantha says, “Black Girls Code means community. It means opportunity. And it means hope for a better future.”


International Women's Day 2021: Jordy in a printed t-shirt and denim jeans and Samantha in a yellow shirtdress. Photographer: Alexis Hunley




Shop our edit of female-led brands to support Black Girls Code,
and to learn more about Black Girls Code, visit www.blackgirlscode.com



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