Travels from California, USA
Kimberly Bryant's speaking fee falls
within range: $25,000 to $30,000
Kimberly Bryant is engineering a solution to the lack of diversity in the tech industry through her non-profit organization Black Girls CODE. A seasoned leader in both the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, she has already introduced over 3,000 girls of color to the technical field through workshops and after-school programs.
After 25 years of holding various leadership roles in several prominent biotechnological companies including Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer, Kimberly was dismayed when her daughter was the only girl of color at a Stanford University computer science camp for youth – mirroring the environment Kimberly had entered 30 years ago when she started her electrical engineering program at Vanderbilt University. Determined to make a difference, she left the lucrative biotechnology industry and founded Black Girls CODE to introduce computer science and programming to girls from underrepresented communities.
Despite being a young organization, Black Girls CODE has already empowered thousands of girls through its mostly volunteer-run summer camps and “hack-a-thons.” Kimberly’s leadership and programs have been recognized as game-changing initiatives in the campaign to make the tech-industry more inclusive while giving girls of color a life-changing opportunity and skills. She has received an American Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian, the honorable title of “Champion of Change” from the Obama Administration, and heartfelt praise from Oprah Winfrey, who has called Black Girls CODE, “the first organization of its kind.”
Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Girls
CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of
technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of
technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. As Oprah describes, Black Girls Code is “the first organization
of its kind.”
Kimberly has enjoyed a successful 25+ year professional career in the
pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Manager in a
series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies
such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer. Since 2011 Kimberly has helped
Black Girls CODE grow from a local organization serving only the Bay
Area, to an international organization with seven chapters across the
U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently
reached over 3000 students and continues to grow and thrive.
Kimberly serves on the National Champions Board for the National Girls
Collaborative Project, and the National Board of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. Kimberly has been been nationally recognized as a social innovator and for her work to increase opportunities for women and girls in the tech industry. In August 2012 Kimberly was given the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for her work to support communities in the Bay Area. In 2013 she was highlighted by Business Insider on its list of “The 25 Most Influential African- Americans in Technology” and was named to The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100 lists.
A highlight of 2013 for Kimberly was being invited to the White House as a Champion of Change for her work in tech inclusion and for her focus on bridging the digital divide for girls of color. In 2014 Kimberly received an American Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian along with the Inaugural Women Who Rule Award in Technology via Politico. She has been identified as a thought leader in the area of tech inclusion and has spoken on the topic at events such as Personal Democracy Forum, TedX Kansas City, Platform Summit, Big Ideas Festival, SXSW, and many others. In 2015, Black Girls Code is working towards doubling in size.
AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS:
Engineer and Black Girls CODE founder Kimberly Bryant defines "defying the impossible" through her personal story: an African American girl raised in the deep south during the 1970s - a girl who had never in her childhood been in the proximity of an engineer - won a scholarship to Vanderbilt University to study electrical engineering.
While the number of women studying and working in the majority of STEM fields has risen, 30 years later the number of women of color in
the tech industry is still dismally almost unmeasurable. True, girls from underrepresented communities have seemingly as much access to technology as their white male counterparts . However, few girls receive any opportunity to learn how to use technology for creation, rather than just consumption.
Enter Black Girls CODE, Kimberly's revolutionary non-profit that has introduced thousands of girls of color to the tech field as designers and builders, not consumers. "Our whole defining mission is to redefine this discussion of both race and gender, and the intersectionality of that as it outlays and plays with closing the digital divide and providing access to girls of color," she states.
As one of the first women of color to build a career in engineering, Kimberly Bryant understands the challenges young girls from underrepresented communities face in entering the white male dominated tech industry. She offers real solutions to this lack of diversity, sharing inspirational stories from her non-profit organization Black Girls CODE where thousands of girls’ are being introduced to skills needed to claim their place in the lucrative tech industry.
Kimberly also touches on hidden biases, the damage they do to our work and society, and actions everyone can take to combat blind spots as we move to a more cooperative inclusive world.
Behind the Click: Securing the Future for Girls of Color as Tech Leaders & Creators of Tomorrow
There is a serious divide in the booming tech economy and girls – especially girls of color – are being left behind. Through her organization, Bryant wants to ensure young girls become creators, not just consumers, of technology, and she plans to introduce 1m girls to coding by 2040.
The Hidden Biases of Good People
We all have biases and blind spots, unconsciously affecting the way we collaborate with others. In this talk, Black Girls Code founder Bryant shares how pervasive biases are in our society and how that affects our careers and our culture. If we’re to do our best work as individuals and as a society, we must recognize and combat these inclinations.
“Kimberley was an amazing speaker and what she has accomplished is very impressive. It makes you want to jump up and say, ‘how can I get involved?’”
— African Canadian Women in the Public Service Network
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