Prince Wants More Black Girls to Become Computer Programmers

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Verizon Wireless and Black Girls Code and Love is Respect have partnered with Prince & ESSENCE Fest to encourage more black girls to learn coding.

It’s been said black girls just aren’t interested in computer science, woman aren’t good analytical thinkers.

But the girls here today tell us that’s a lie. “I love science I like astronomy, and I know other girls who also like those things,” says 12-year-old Olivier Ross.

She believes the real problem behind the lack of African American women going into computer based fields is fear.

“It’s because they’re afraid. I know there’s a computer programming class in my school, and I’m the only girl. Normally you want to do things with your friends and if you don’t know anyone there, it’s scary,” she says.

Another Black Girls Code seminar attendee believes it goes back to stereotypes.

“I think that African American girls are kind of put in this one category,” she says.

So what needs to change? What do we need to do to see more women in the industry?

Olivier says just show girls that its OK to like coding, and that other girls like it too, then “find as many girls like that as possible and show them to people who hire people and say we exist.”

Olivia, in case you were wondering, wants to go into computer science and will be eligible for hire in a few years.

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