Ask the average person and they'll admit that they're pretty tech-savvy. I mean with hours spent each day texting, tweeting, taking selfies and snapchatting - how could we not be?
We may know how to use technology but do we really know how it's built and how it works? Our favorite gadgets that we use everyday (computers, smartphones, etc.) have their roots in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (also known as STEM).
For most girls, especially minorities, those aren't subjects of interest. It's something Kimberly Bryant first noticed in college while studying Electrical Engineering. She also noticed it later on when she started her career.
On average women make up just 29% of employees at tech-companies in the U.S. and that number for African-American women and other women of color is even lower. Despite seeing these stats firsthand, it was when her daughter expressed interest in following in her footsteps that Bryant decided something had to change.
"I wanted to create more people that look like me and look like my daughter to really fill in the gaps that I saw for myself," said Bryant to CNBC. "When we generally think of a computer scientist now, it does not look like a woman of color, it does not look of someone that is of Hispanic background..."
So in 2011, Bryant started Black Girls Code - a non-profit geared towards breaking down those barriers and teaching girls 7-17 the ins and outs of computer programming. Now, almost 5 years later and Black Girls Code has worked with more than 5,000 girls across the United States and in Africa with plans to continue to expand nation-wide.
Many of the girls have taken what they've learned through BGC's workshops and other sessions and are putting it to use outside of the program - with some even pursuing college degrees in computer science and other fields.
"We're starting to see that shift where girls are really voicing their interest in computer science and see that they have a place at that table," Bryant told CNBC. "I think we're changing not just the minds of the girls, but the minds of everyone around them as well."
We salute Kimberly Bryant and Black Girls Code for opening doors and inspiring girls of all colors to learn and embrace science, technology, engineering and math and to tear down stereotypes in the process.
For more information: http://www.blackgirlscode.com/