Computer Science for All Stands on the Shoulders of Champions

Brenda Darden Wilkerson, LinkedIn

As a long-time advocate for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech, I was excited to learn that 60 Minutes produced a segment focused on Closing the Gender Gap in The Tech Industry. I am a steady fan of 60 Minutes and it boasts its last season drew an average of 11.4 million viewers. I was heartened that this platform would provide much-needed exposure and support the hard work of so many of us who have, and continue to, labor to increase intersectional gender impact on tech, along with all its powerful socioeconomic implications.

Unfortunately, I, like many, was disappointed when in the opening statement, Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi discredited the efforts of companies, universities, and foundations by noting their work as failed and pivoted to focus on one organization as being the savior “…to finally crack the code.”

Immediately following its airing, we heard from Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and Ayah Bdeir, Founder and CEO of littleBits, who were contacted by 60 Minutes, but not included in the segment. Notably absent from this conversation were so many other advocates, groups and organizations, strong male allies, as well as countless women who have worked tirelessly and whose efforts could have been spotlighted.

The irony regarding the fact that the featured organization is led by a man was not lost on the woman technologists who tuned in.