Mark Twain said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
It seems like the same can be said for the goal of increasing opportunities for girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs: everybody talks about the virtues of it, but it’s rare that anybody actually does much to make it happen.
One of the core values at XANT is generosity, and this is manifest in our determination to give back to our community in the form of our 1/1/1 pledge: we donate 1% of our revenue, product and employee time to endeavors that improve our world.
Combine that with the frustration our CEO Dave Elkington experiences upon seeing how girls formerly enamored of STEM subjects seem to be elbowed out of the space when they reach junior high and high school.
Foundational to this 1/1/1 pledge is our annual Girls Code event, where about 35 girls, ages nine to 12, spend a week learning how to develop software applications for devices and robots. They also have a lot of fun.
Dave Elkington’s quote at the end of the piece sums up our mission nicely:
“If you consider society and the need, the overt need, for more computer scientists or programmers or engineers—and yet we’re ignoring largely half the population? That’s ludicrous,” [Elkington] said. “If we, as a country, want to continue to innovate? We have to tap the whole population. The more we can help educate people, I think the more we can embrace technology. If we ignore half the population, we’re going to miss something. We’re going to get out-innovated if we don’t do something differently in North America.”