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Girls & Women

There’s a New Book Series for Young Girls, and It Wants to Close the Gender Gap in Tech

The national non-profit organization Girls Who Code is bringing its tech-savvy message to a new platform: the bookstore.

Girls Who Code is publishing a 13-book series for girls that addresses computer science and coding, the company announced in an e-newsletter on Tuesday. The series will be published by Penguin Random House, and the first two books are expected to hit the shelves on August 22.

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The book series is a collection of fiction and nonfiction stories aimed at girls ages 8-12. The first two coming out next week are one nonfiction book, “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World,” and one fiction book, “The Friendship Code.

“We’re doing this because literary representation matters,” Reshma Saujani, CEO and co-founder of Girls Who Code, wrote in the e-newsletter. “One of the best ways to spark girls’ interest is to share stories of girls who look like them.”

Women hold just 18% of computing jobs in the US, which is less than half of the percentage of women who were in those roles in 1984. By 2020, women are on track to fill only 3% of the available jobs in computing, according to Girls Who Code.

Educating girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields advances toward several Global Goals , which are necessary for eliminating extreme poverty, including quality education (goal 4), gender equality (goal 5), and industry, innovation, and infrastructure (goal 9). 

Saujani founded the organization with one goal in mind: to close the gender gap in technology. Since then, the group of 20 women in a New York office grew to a movement of over 40,000 girls across all 50 states, quadrupling the pipeline of women entering the technology pipeline.

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The organization offers summer immersion programs for girls to learn to code and also helps girls start coding clubs in their schools. The 13-book series represents a new, hands-on method for inspiring more girls to consider careers in technology.

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The new books profile women in tech jobs, provide explanations of computer science concepts, and feature female characters who look and sound like the books’ primary audience: young girls.

“We’re all very familiar with the image of a male programmer in a hoodie. What we want to show are images of relatable girls, coding,” Saujani wrote.

The nonfiction book, “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World,” is an explainer that introduces girls to the world of coding. Written by Saujani herself, the part how-to, part girl-empowerment book has art and visual aids on every page of the book.

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The fiction novel follows the story of Lucy, a middle-school girl who joins the coding club in hopes of designing an app. She and three unlikely girl friends navigate the diverse worlds of coding and friendship.

Saujani will go on a month-long book tour for the two books, starting August 22 at a rally for women in tech being held on 5:00 p.m. at Union Square, New York. The books are also available for preorder.