October 11 is the International Day of the Girl, a day that the U.N. says is designed to “raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world.”
“It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere,” according to the official website. For this day, we thought it would be a great time to celebrate some of the companies and organizations who are doing exactly that — empowering girls to excel in creative pursuits in the traditionally male-dominated worlds of creativity, emerging tech, and media.
Girls Make Games. Game development and design has long been considered the purview of boys — which means that one of the fastest-growing occupations in America is essentially being dominated by one gender. Born from a Kickstarter created by Laila Shabir, Girls Make Games has gone from a back-yard project to a global initiative in just over a year.
Girls Who Code. Launched in 2012, Girls Who Code quickly secured funding from huge hitters like AT&T, who felt that the project would help ensure not only the empowerment of a generation of girls, but also encourage a gender-diverse workforce for years to come, which has been found to be more productive and effective. Girls Who Code teaches a number of different computing skills to girls in after-school and immersive summer programs.
Reel Grrls. Based in Seattle, Real Grrls is a non-profit that aims to educate and train girls ages 9-21 to make media. From camera operation to storytelling and even the dissection of media images, Real Grrls helps young women identify the kind of films they want to make, and then make them.
GirlStart. GirlStart covers a lot of bases — from year-round, comprehensive STEM education to interactive conferences and a summer camp, this program helps K-12 girls get the kind of education in science, math, and other areas that public schools often can’t deliver.
The Girls Rock Camp Alliance. Music creation, production, and marketing are another area of media that have traditionally had a stronger male presence, but thanks to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, girls from all over the world are able to get hands-on education in every aspect of making and recording musicl. Dozens of cities have girl-centered music programs, from The Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Oregon to Popkollo in Sweden.
Made With Code: Google’s outreach program for empowering girls to become involved with coding, Made With Code is a partnership with high-profile people and organizations like the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, the MIT Media Lab, and TechCrunch. The initiative is well-funded, and currently working to provide resources for girls and parents to help connect students with education.