Kimberly Bryant is an African American electrical engineer who worked in the biotechnology field at Genentech, Novartis Vaccines, Diagnostics, and Merck. In 2011, Bryant founded Black Girls Code, a training course that teaches basic programming concepts to black girls who are underrepresented in technology careers. After founding Black Girls Code, Bryant has been listed as one of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology by Business Insider in 2013.
1 Early life and education
2.1 Black Girls Code
Early life and education
Bryant was born and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She earned a degree in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University.
Bryant focused her studies at Vanderbilt on high-voltage electronics, and early in her career, she was hired at jobs at Westinghouse Electric and DuPont. Later, Bryant would move from electrical companies to biotechnology and later to pharmaceutical companies, where she worked at Pfizer, Merck, and at Genentech and Novartis.
Black Girls Code
Bryant founded Black Girls Code after her daughter expressed an interest in learning computer programming, and none of the available courses in the Bay area were well suited for her since the classes were mostly boys, and rarely had other African American girls attending. Having experienced isolation herself during her time studying and working, she wanted a better environment for her daughter. Black Girls Code teaches computer programming to school age girls in after school and summer programs. The San Francisco based nonprofit organization has a goal of teaching one million black girls to code by 2040. The organization already has trained 3,000 girls in seven chapters in cities in the United States, and has one chapter in Johannesburg, South Africa, with plans to add chapters in eight more cities.