General Motors and Black Girls CODE (BGC) today announced the creation of a new, Detroit BGC chapter to help get girls of color interested in pursuing careers in information technology, computer science, and the like. The announcement was accompanied by a series of activities at the Detroit International Academy for Young Women (DIA) – a PK-through-12 public school – and research and technology business park TechTown. They included:
- A panel discussion for STEM students from local colleges and universities, featuring Black Girls CODE CEO Kimberly Bryant and GM Executive VP of Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis, moderated by GM CEO Mary Barra.
- A hands-on activity for DIA students from grades 2 through 6, in which BGC and GM employee volunteers guided them through operating BGC Robot Spiro to help them build and race toy cars.
- A presentation from a founding BGC member and several young STEM professionals from GM and DTE Energy, for DIA students from grades 7 through 12.
Detroit outpaces the United States when it comes to information technology job growth, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber – a trajectory that’s expected to continue through 2025. But while there’s plenty of opportunity there, women of color tend to be egregiously underrepresented in STEM fields, with only three percent of Black women receiving degrees in computer science, and less than one percent of Latinas. General Motors, in partnership with Black Girls CODE, hope to change that in the Detroit region.
“We’re on the forefront of electric and self-driving cars and connectivity that allows our vehicles to communicate with each other — and, with all that innovation, today’s cars have millions of lines of code,” says General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “It’s one of the reasons that it’s our mission to help build the next generation of STEM leaders, with an emphasis on expanding opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups.”