5866 hours invested, 566 Adobe employee volunteers, 100 high school juniors and seniors, 7 weeks, 5 summer immersion programs, 5 teachers, and 1 goal: to close the gender gap in the tech industry.
This summer marks the fifth year that Adobe has partnered with Girls Who Code, a program dedicated to exposing young girls to the technology and computer science fields.
This summer, our San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, New York, and Emeryville offices welcomed 11th and 12th grade girls for nearly two months of full immersion in technology and educational workshops. While many companies host Girls Who Code programs, Adobe is one of the only tech companies that encourages its employees to step away from their day jobs to lead these classes.
“My team and my manager were very supportive,” said Amulya Kunati, San Jose teacher and F2P Marketing Testing & Optimization Analyst. “Initially, I was nervous, but my team provided me with guidance and teaching tips that ultimately helped make this summer successful.”
Coding with creativity
Over the first five weeks of their intensive summer program, the girls learned the basics of coding in multiple languages, exposing them to a breadth of new knowledge. What’s unique about Adobe’s approach to Girls Who Code is the tie-in with our company’s creative roots. While developing proficient coding skills was the primary focus, the Girls Who Code participants were taught to combine those skills with creativity to develop a final project that reflected their individuality. Each team pitched their final project at a closing graduation ceremony.
One of Suchita Nair’s teams in Emeryville created a website called Wonder Women using HTML and CSS, which paid tribute to all strong women in history. “The women they researched for the website had made an impact either in STEM or were trailblazers in their own right,” said Suchita. “They also made a three-part series adventure game highlighting these women, including Joan of Arc and Takeko Nakano, which took you back in time. You got a quick experience of how it would be to have lived in those times.”
Although it was an intensive seven weeks, there was plenty of fun to be had! The girls had the opportunity to meet with many of our leaders, including Shantanu Narayen, Donna Morris, and Cynthia Stoddard, just to name a few.
“I really appreciate how Ops Staff took time out of their schedules to meet with the girls and talk about their futures,” explained Amulya. “This was a very memorable moment for them. It’s great to see this level of support for the program across the company.”
“On Day 1, when I asked if they want to take computer science, hardly one or two girls raised their hands. When the last day came around, all 20 hands were up. Now they want to choose computer science. It means a lot to me that I could help them find a career path that they love.”
What’s more is many who found their passion for computer science through Girls Who Code spent their summer making a splash as Adobe interns!
We want to recognize five of our outstanding employees who were nominated to lead the Girls Who Code programs this summer:
- Husna Hadi, San Francisco teacher and Software Engineer
- Amulya Kunati, San Jose teacher and Big Data Engineer
- Suchita Nair, Emeryville teacher and Engineering Manager
- Sapna Gathani, New York teacher and Senior Web Developer
- Brittany Weinert, Seattle teacher and Software Engineer, DCX
And of course, this summer could not have been successful without the help of all our Adobe TAs, mentors and volunteers. We thank everyone for the time and commitment they made to invest in the leaders of tomorrow.
They Did It!
Meet our 2017 Girls Who Code graduates! They are ones to watch.