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Girls Who Code
A Deloitte audit specialist on encouraging girls in STEM
November 26, 2018
The world of technology has largely been a male-dominated industry, despite the growing number of women entering the field. Girls Who Code and its founder Reshma Saujani set out to reverse this disparity. Girls Who Code is a national non-profit with the singular mission of closing the gender gap in technology.
To get girls involved in technology and computer science, Girls Who Code hosts a series of events and camps designed to immerse students into the world of coding. Among them include a seven-week Summer Immersion Program, a two-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, College Loops program, and a New York Times best-selling book series. This year Deloitte has collaborated with Girls Who Code as the 2018 National Scholarship Sponsor of the Campus Program, funding two-week intensive courses, hosted on select school and university campuses. Each course dives into one of several topics such as website design and development, wearable tech, fashion design, or iPhone app development.
LA-based audit professional Tina Tianyue Huang has a background in applied and computational mathematics, so she knows just how important it is to encourage girls to get involved in STEM programs from an early age. She spent some time with the high school students attending the Campus Program at Loyola Marymount University where they were learning about using computer science and coding in fashion design and wearable technology. We asked Tina to share with us more about her involvement.
Why did you decide to get involved with Girls Who Code?
When I was in school, most of my math classes were male-dominated. So, I thought it would be meaningful to help influence more young girls to learn more about what it's like going into the STEM field.
What were some of the highlights of the Campus Program you visited?
The wearable technology and fashion design course teaches the girls both coding and combining hardware with fashion. One of the projects was a jacket with neon lights that spelled "party." This jacket has a mic that allows the lights to shine according to the music playing. Another project was a wristband that has a red light which will flash if the user presses on the button. The team created this because a lot of the crosswalks in LA don't have lights around them. When pedestrians try to cross the streets at night, it's hard for the drivers to see, which is very dangerous.
How does Girls Who Code encourage people to get involved in STEM?
The program is a great way to encourage young girls to learn more about technology and help them envision themselves going into this field in the future. I think because there are fewer female role models in the STEM industry coupled with society’s expectation for girls, it is more difficult for girls to see themselves working in the STEM field. These classes provide good exposure. The girls enjoyed the program, and I could see that they put a lot of thought into their final projects.
I loved getting to share my experience working in the STEM field and talked about what I do day to day at Deloitte. I also got to look at the projects the students were working on, which was very interesting.
At Deloitte, Tina works as an audit data analytics specialist for Deloitte & Touche LLP, where she uses technology to enhance audit quality. When asked if she planned to participate in next year’s staging Tina replied with an enthusiastic, “yes!”
Learn more about Deloitte’s work with Girls Who Code.