Akamai Diversity

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Girls Who Code is Back! 2016 Summer Immersion Program Underway

Akamai's 2nd annual Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program is now underway!   Last Monday, we welcomed 20 high school girls to our Cambridge headquarters to begin their intensive seven week program.  The girls will learn coding fundamentals, participate in field trips, workshops, and receive mentoring from Akamai employees.

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In the first week, several of us ran our "How the Internet Works" interactive workshop.  The girls were engaged and asked excellent questions.  We're off to a good start!  This week, they will meet their Akamai mentors, learn about web site design from a couple of our experts, and take a field trip to the "#techstyle" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts together with the girls from Microsoft's program.   This is in addition to actually learning how to code in Python. 

We are trying a few new things this summer, including matching the girls with some of our summer interns in addition to Akamai mentors, and collaborating with the Twitter program for workshops on UX design and presentation skills.  Other highlights will include a visit to the personal robotics group at the MIT Media Lab, and meeting with Tom Leighton.  At the end of the program, the girls will present final projects at their graduation ceremony. 

Founded in 2012, Girls Who Code is a non-profit program dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology by inspiring, educating, and equipping girls with the computing skills they need.  This year Girls Who Code will run 78 summer immersion programs at tech companies in eleven US cities, including five programs in the Boston area.

I am so proud that Akamai recognizes the importance of programs like Girls Who Code, and has chosen to invest in hosting an immersion program again this summer.  Akamai sees the gender gap in technology as one of our industry's biggest challenges, and addressing it as vital for future innovation.  The staunch support of our CEO and other top executives is huge.  As Chief Architect of Platform Mapping Engineering and a mother of two daughters, this is a cause that matters a great deal to me personally, as it does to many of us.

It is heartening to see so many women and men from across the company committed to making our summer immersion program a success. I'd like to thank Anthony Williams (VP of Talent Acquisition, Diversity, and Inclusion) as well as Jim Gemmell (EVP of Human Resources) for their strong support of this program.  I'd particularly like call out Bhuvana Husain, Director of Programs and Operations here at Akamai, and the director of our immersion program.  An Akamai leader and inspiring role model, she is the powerhouse who makes our program so successful.  I'd also like to thank Shoshana Gourdin and Arwen Warlock for organizing field trips, guest speakers, and mentors.  

For more information about Girls Who Code and Akamai's Summer Immersion Program, please see their website and our press release

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