General Motors Executive Vice President Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis talks with 2nd – 6th grade students at Detroit International Academy Tuesday, September 12, 2017 during a STEM-focused activity in celebration of the GM – Black Girls Code partnership and the launch of a Detroit chapter in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

*Yes, Black girls rock, but make no mistake, they CODE too!

To this end GM and Black Girls CODE celebrated their partnership at the recent launch of a Detroit Chapter where they engaged in a series of hands-on activities at the Detroit International Academy for Women (DIA), a Detroit Public Schools Community District school, and TechTown

This partnership, announced alongside four other computer science partnerships in June, aims to increase interest in STEM career fields for girls of color.

  • STEM students from area colleges and universities will attend a panel discussion with BGC CEO Kimberly Bryant and GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis, moderated by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
  • DIA students in second through sixth grades will work with Black Girls CODE and GM employee volunteers to operate the BGC Robot Spiro to help build and race their own toy cars.
  • DIA students in seventh through 12th grades will hear perspectives from a founding BGC member and young STEM professionals from GM and DTE Energy.

Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and less than 1 percent of Latina’s receive degrees in computer science.

According to the Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit outpaces the nation in information technology job growth and is expected to continue the pace through 2025.

–Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors

“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,” said GM Chairman and 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.”

Read more and see photos from the event at EURThisNthat.