Girls and women have for far too long been underrepresented and undervalued in both STEM careers and educational settings. There is no shortage of data to reflect this unfortunate reality.
Take, for example, Microsoft’s study that shows that most girls become interested in STEM in school at around age of 11, but their interest starts to wane by the age of 15. Or the STEM Jobs: 2017 Update report that highlighted how only about 30% of all STEM degree holders are women. Or the finding that nearly 40% of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field.
The situation can sometimes feel too entrenched to overcome. But this simply isn’t the case. Organizations both big and small—in and around many top U.S. cities for women and STEM—are making great strides every day to provide invaluable resources, guidance and advocacy, actively supporting girls and women to pursue careers in STEM.
There are initiatives that encourage young girls to explore the wonders of STEM in and outside of school, scholarships that assist female university students to continue their studies, and all manner of conferences, mentoring opportunities, and programs that encourage female STEM professionals to remain in the field.
With so many worthy organizations out there to donate to, it can be difficult to narrow down one that you feel most passionate about. That’s why we made the following list of 40 organizations that all advocate for girls and women in STEM in one way or another. If you’d like to discover more, keep reading.
Code to Inspire empowers female students in Afghanistan with the tech tools, knowledge, and resources to develop their coding skills. Technology education is considered by the organization to be the key to providing the women with “leverage in their fight for social, political, and economic equality.”
Key Facts About Code to Inspire:
- Aims to boost the statistic that 68% of young Afghan women are illiterate and lack formal education
- A donation of just $50 can provide one month of sustainable electricity their coding school
- Awarded the Google Rise Award & UC Berkeley Athena Award in 2016
Girlstart was established with the goal of harnessing innovative, nationally-recognized informal STEM education programs to encourage girls to become more interested and engaged in STEM. The initiative offers 6 core core STEM programs for kindergarten to grade 12 girls.
Key Facts About Girlstart:
- Served a total of 27,000+ girls in 2017
- Provided means for 527 girls to attend the 2017 Girls in STEM Conference
- 74% of girls supported in Girlstart’s After School program are considered economically disadvantaged
Girls Who Code supports programs that equip girls with computing skills and inspire them create technology that makes the world a better place. In 2017, employers received 500+ applications for opportunities posted on #HireMe, the organization’s job and internship board.
Key Facts About Girls Who Code:
- Building the largest pipeline of female engineers in the US
- Benefited 90,000+ girls to date
- Active in all 50 US states
The NGCP works to bring together STEM organizations focused on helping girls pursue STEM careers. Its three central goals are to maximize access to shared resources, strengthen capacity of existing projects, and leverage a network of STEM programs to “create the tipping point for gender equality in STEM.”
Key Facts About National Girls Collaborative Project:
- Built up 33 Collaboratives that facilitate collaboration between 36,400 organizations
- 37,579+ participants have been served in 441 mini-grant projects
- Provided 29,650+ practitioners with in-person STEM events and webinars
Underlying all of the work Women Who Code do is a vision for a “world where women are proportionally represented as technical leaders, executives, founders, VCs, board members, and software engineers.” The organization offers an expansive range of benefits for its female members, such as coding resources, 1700+ annual events, and leadership opportunities, to name a few.
Key Facts About Women Who Code:
- 137,000+ members
- The Women Who Code Job Board connects women with high-paying jobs
- Over 183,000 people follow Women Who’s Code’s Twitter
Based in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. area, STEM for Her encourages young girls and women to explore and become excited about the prospect of career in STEM. The organization offers this through the provision of funding to STEM-related field trips, speakers, programs, curriculum development, and clubs.
Key Facts About STEM for Her:
- 800+ girls benefited from programs in 2017
- $17,000+ of scholarships awarded
- 100% run and operated by volunteers
Guided by the philosophy that all girls need personal and consistent support to succeed, Techbridge Girls not only after-school and summer STEM programs in the San Francisco Bay Area to girls from low-income communities, it also provides useful resources for members of girls’ support networks.
Key Facts About Techbridge Girls:
- Worked with over 4,000 girls in grades 5-12
- 96% of Techbridge girls think that engineering is a good career for women
- 98% of parents say that their daughters’ confidence in STEM has grown thanks to Techbridge
Women & Hi Tech aims to level the playing field for women in tech in Indiana by providing a means for them to better connect to one another. From organizing events and award shows to put a spotlight on women in the industry, to providing guidance and support, Women & Hi Tech provides a comprehensive approach to change the landscape of women in STEM.
Key Facts About Women & Hi Tech:
- Hosts the Leading Light Awards (LLA) every two years to recognize notable achievements by women in STEM
- Provides opportunities for women to get paired with mentors in their field
- Pairs with numerous partner organizations to offer women a wide variety of STEM events to attend
Endeavoring to help women to further expand their networks and knowledge, Women In Tech Fund uniquely creates an avenue for women in the technology and security fields to attend conferences. It does this by providing support with obtaining tickets or transport to and from events.
Key Facts About Women In Tech Fund:
- Priority for tickets is given to students and individuals with low income
- The positive impact the organization has on women in STEM can be seen by reading attendees stories on the website
- Donations are accepted both in the form of money or tickets to conferences
Elevating diversity and inclusion in computing is the name of the game for National Center for Women & Information Technology. By creating a non-profit community of 1,100+ universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations that all further this objective, NCWIT has proven effective in helping to “revolutionizing the face of technology.”
Key Facts About National Center for Women & Information Technology:
- Works on a 3-pronged approach: alliances, programs, and free, research-based resourced
- Google recently donated $2 million to help NCWIT establish a new HQ
- Nearly 10,000 women have been recognized for their computing achievements by The Aspirations in Computing program
Recognizing that self-confidence and positive role models are essential for women to reach their full potential in STEM, ChickTech is focused on providing learning opportunities for female students, continued education and social events for professional women, and also guidance for companies to create more inclusive workplaces.
Key Facts About ChickTech:
- The first international chapters will be added
- 101 events and workshops for girls and women held in 2017
- $936,881 raised in 2017 in revenue from individuals and corporations
IGNITE Worldwide offers a fresh approach to encouraging girls and non-binary students participation in tech by directly involving their teachers at schools. IGNITE Worldwide trains teachers to become chapter leaders in their school, and from there, helps them organize panel discussions, field trips, and job shadows during the school year.
Key Facts About IGNITE Worldwide:
- 78.11% of girls who attended an IGNITE event become more interested in STEM
- Won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring
- Schools with an IGNITE initiative increase female enrollment in technology from under 10% to 30-80%
By becoming a part of Persian Women in Tech, Persian and MENA women in STEM are given the opportunity to truly thrive in their respective fields. They can choose to attend the Women Of MENA In Tech conference or attend monthly city events that are focused on connecting, mentoring, supporting, and empowering members.
Key Facts About Persian Women in Tech:
- Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have all been PWIT hosts
- PWIT currently operates in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston, DC, Boston, and London
- Upcoming chapters include Paris, Dubai, Stockholm, and NYC
Founded over 25 years ago, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology has the vision to “create an environment where women and girls in Canada can pursue their interest, education, and careers in STEM.” Their efforts are not limited to providing programs, they also advocate for inclusive policies in education, the workplace, and in government.
Key Facts About Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology:
- 4 SCWIST scholarships are available to women in science and tech
- SCWIST offers a program to support Vancouver immigrant women community
- Women can easily find high-quality career opportunities on the site’s Jobs Board
The founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, created the organization so her pre-teen daughter would be the last only black girl in the room at a computer science camp. Black Girls Code has grown exponentially since then to now offer support for young women of color to achieve their STEM dreams.
Key Facts About Black Girls Code:
- Over 8000+ African American, Latina, and Native American girls have benefited
- Has a thriving Twitter community of 80,000+ followers
- Partnered with Google, Adobe, and FedEx – to name a few companies
Founded in 2013 by Latina MIT alumnae, Latinas in STEM aims to lower the particularly high barriers to entry Latina women face in STEM. Mentorship, networking, and recognition are the keys to Latina success in STEM that the organization provides a framework for accessing.
Key Facts About Latinas in STEM:
- 3 main programs offered – K-12 Outreach, College Student Support, and Professional Development
- Social gatherings, networking events, and conferences are also regularly staged
- Awarded the 2017 California Nonprofit of the Year
The guiding mission behind Girl Develop It is to provide an informative, safe, and comfortable space for women to learn web and software development. Two key draw cards that have encouraged many women to sign up to Girl Develop It’s programs is that they are affordable and are held in a judgement-free environment.
Key Facts About Girl Develop It:
- Presence in 63 US cities
- The first class ever sold out in 24 hours
- Today there are 55,000+ members US wide
Women in Tech Africa carries a three-fold mission: to create positive female leaders and role models, to demonstrate the capabilities of strong African women, and to support African growth through tech. Throughout the year, the organization runs many progressive projects and events all across Africa to encourage women to explore careers in STEM.
Key Facts About Women In Tech Africa:
- Members from 30 African countries
- Inspired 100 children to pursue STEM careers
- 2000 careers influenced
The Visiola Foundation believes that by mentoring and training academically excellent African female youth in STEM fields, the future of African countries and the people in it can be completely transformed. The Visiola Foundation therefore offers its scholarship recipients the rare chance to access mentorships, participate in leadership summits, volunteer, and engage in confidence and skills boosting STEM activities.
Key Facts About The Visiola Foundation:
- Partners with leading universities across Africa
- The organization’s website connects African women with other grants, fellowships, and funding opportunities
- Partnered with Google and Intel
National Action Council For Minorities in Engineering has already achieved great success in helping to foster an “engineering workforce that looks like America.” They partner with organizations to provide scholarships, resources, and opportunities for high-achieving, underrepresented minority engineering and computer science students.
Key Facts About National Action Council For Minorities in Engineering:
- The largest provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees at schools of engineering
- Commitment to increase the number of NACME Scholars by 49% by 2020
- Around 150 students attend each Executive Sponsor Speaker Series event
Arab Women in Tech was founded in 2012 after conference participants at the New York University Abu Dhabi regional collaborative Workshop on Women in Computing in the Arab World banded together to create an international organization for Arab women in computing. Its goal is to “support, inspire, retain, encourage collaboration among, increase visibility of and help elevate the status of Arab women in computing, and allow them to achieve their career goals.”
Key Facts About Arab Women in Tech:
- 16 chapters throughout the Arab world
- Hosts an Annual International Arab Women in Computing and Technology Conference
- Runs a series of bi-monthly webinars, Tech Talks
Kal Academy is an innovative non-profit coding academy where classes are taught by software industry veteran Kalpana (Kal) Viswanathan. Kal’s classes are renowned for explaining complex concepts in easy-to-understand terms – so much so that participants can become software developers after just 5 months of study!
Key Facts About Kal Academy:
- Trained and placed 200+ women and minority groups in top technology companies to date
- Classes taught by industry professionals with a total of 45 years in the technology field
- Winner of Best Impact Award at the InnovateHER 2016 business pitch competition
Scientista started when two sisters, Julia and Christina Tartaglia, noticed the lack of resources, community, and role models for college women in science and engineering during their studies as biology majors at Harvard. The organization is considered a one stop shop for all of the resources, connections, and conferences pre-professional women in STEM could need.
Key Facts About The Scientista Foundation:
- Semi-finalist in the Harvard I3 business plan competition
- Presence in 20+ international campuses
- Partnered with Microsoft, NASA, and The Huffington Post
Education and training, economic security, and leadership are the key tenets of the AAUW 2018 strategic plan to advance equity for women and girls in a variety of fields, including STEM. Remarkably, AAUW has been championing its cause for more than 130 years, and by all indicators, has no signs of slowing down.
Key Facts About AAUW:
- 270,000 messages sent to lawmakers by AAUW members and supporters
- 35 states held AAUW STEM programs
- $3.7 million awarded to women and community projects
The BA Rudolph Foundation was established to commemorate B.A. Rudolph, a woman who always found time to be an advocate and mentor to other women despite her thriving career. The Foundation seeks to support women who have demonstrated their willingness to change the world around them for the better through the provision of scholarships, grants, and events.
Key Facts About BA Rudolph Foundation:
- 57 women have been awarded over $225,000 in scholarships to date
- 100% of 2017 summer scholarship recipients said that they improved their capacity to expand professional connections and networks
- 100% also said they received guidance from their mentors on entering and navigating their field
Located in Toronto, Canada, hEr VOLUTION creates opportunities for women – particularly those from underserved communities – to connect with practical STEM educational opportunities and support like intensive workshops and instructional seminars.
Key Facts About hEr VOLUTION:
- Over 15 STEM workshops and 3 summer camps held annually in the greater Toronto area
- Offers 2 year program that introduces young women to vital professional skill building experiences
- 48% student attendance to the hEr VOLUTION Annual Canadian Women in STEM Conference
Pretty Brainy’s vision is to assist 2 million girls to develop their STEAM abilities. No, that wasn’t a typo! STEAM is Pretty Brainy’s forward-thinking concept of “STEM + Art,” which forms the basis of their program which is designed to teach girls coding, technology, and design, textiles, and TechStyles™.
Key Facts About Pretty Brainy:
- 100% of Pretty Brainy students agreed or strongly agreed that their Textiles + TechStyles™ workshop increased their interest in innovation and design
- 92% of girls also said said that it increased their interest in science and technology
- 100% said they liked working with the Pretty Brainy mentors
Established in 2012, Portland Women in Technology is an organization that strengthens the community of women in Portland’s tech industry by offering useful educational programs, partnerships, mentorships, resources, and opportunities. The programs are inclusive, meaning that “ALL people who support our purpose are welcome.”
Key Facts About Portland Women in Technology:
- More than 5000 members
- 90+ hosts and 72 volunteers
- Conducts a massive annual survey, State of the Community, to gather data about the Portland tech industry
The Women in Engineering ProActive Network started in 1990 to revolutionize the face of engineering in higher education and workplaces. Underlying their work is the belief that greater diversity and inclusion can be achieved in both settings by working with WEPAN’s network of advocates.
Key Facts About The Women in Engineering ProActive Network:
- 900+ individuals make up the WEPAN network
- WEPAN’s Change Leader Forum has engaged 4,000+ change leaders
- Conducted the first national climate study among 20,000 male and female engineering students
An organization with a longstanding commitment to their cause, the Society of Women Engineers has been advocating for women engineers for nearly 70 years. Training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, and outreach and advocacy activities are all organized with the objective of encouraging more and more women to consider a career in engineering.
Key Facts About Society of Women Engineers:
- Around 35,000 individual members
- Presence in 10 geographic regions
- More than $750,000 in scholarships awarded in 2016
Canada Learning Code harnesses digital skills to ensure that “all Canadians who have been historically underrepresented in the sector – particularly women, girls, people with disabilities, Indigenous youth and newcomers – are given equal opportunity to build our future.” Those are the words of the organization’s inspiring co-founder and CEO, Melissa Sariffodeen, who with her team works to pave a fairer pathway to coding success.
Key Facts About Canada Learning Code:
- 106,950 learners across Canada in their educational programs
- 2,800 educational events already held
- Recognized in the House of Commons for their exemplary work
Advocacy, programs, and innovation are the three core ways Alearn Silicon Valley Education Foundation achieves its mission to “deliver and advocate for STEM education that inspires underserved students to succeed in college and careers.” The organization develops numerous resources for school districts around Silicon Valley to benefit both students and educators.
Key Facts About ALearn Silicon Valley Education Foundation:
- Their Elevate [Math] program has helped over 12,000 students since 2008
- The two largest events raised over $1 million in 2017
- The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) provide 300+ extra hours of instruction per student annually
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Nigeria, the WAAW Foundation holds the core focus to empower “African women to become impactful leaders to benefit Africa through experiential STEM education, leadership, and entrepreneurship training.” The foundation acknowledges the community impact that educating women can have, and so aim by 2020 to increase the number of African women in STEM by 10%.
Key Facts About WAAW Foundation:
- Their STEM Outreach and Mentoring Program is in 18 chapter in 11 African countries
- 198 girls have participated in the STEM camp
- 31 college scholarship awarded
greenlight for girls’ story of how they came to be gives a glimpse at just how necessary the organization is. It all began with an email that was sent to less than 100 people around the world asking, “do you believe there is something we need to do to encourage girls in science?” Within a year, an official organization had been established with 500 plus volunteers in every continent of the world to advocate for girls of all ages and backgrounds to engage in STEM.
Key Facts About greenlight for girls:
- 2000 girls already involved
- Top-ranked organization by GlobalGiving
- Partnered with Nokia, Cisco, and Stanley Black & Decker
Five core values underpin the culture and work at National Math + Science Initiative – accountability, collaboration, equity, learning, and advocacy. Drawing on these values, NMSI has been able to assist an incredible amount of students, regardless of the barriers they face, to thrive in mathematics and science education.
Key Facts About National Math + Science Initiative:
- 2,000,000 students supported by NMSI programs
- 50,000+ teachers trained by expert educations
- 45 universities in the National UTeach Network
Malala is a young woman who needs no introduction – she is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a passionate activist who advocates for all girls, everywhere, to exercise their right to education. Her namesake fund works to ensure that the 130 million plus girls around the world who do not have access to schooling one day do.
Key Facts About Malala Fund:
- Malala cofounded the Malala Fund with her father
- The fund invests in educators and activists in 5 countries
- Apple announced a collaboration so the fund can reach its goal of extending secondary education opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.
From its humble beginnings in 2014, when 8 high school girls participated in the organization’s programs, to now, with 200+ girls calling themselves members, Girls in STEM has substantially grown its reach and influence in only a few years. Through their work, numerous girls have attained the confidence and knowledge to see themselves in STEM roles in the future.
Key Facts About Girls in STEM:
- 20+ community partners
- 3500 hours of volunteering completed in 2016-2017
- 4 established chapters
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Both IIEEE members and volunteers join forces in the pursuit of encouraging more girls worldwide to head into engineering and science with a positive outlook.
Key Facts About IEEE Women in Engineering Fund:
- 20,000+ members
- Presence in over 100 countries
- Publishes a women in engineering newsletter and magazine
You would be mistaken for thinking the British Federation of Women Graduates only provides invaluable assistance to British women graduates. In addition to providing funding for PhD students in British institutes since 1907, the organization also works to positively impact the lives of women graduates overseas.
Key Facts About British Federation of Women Graduates:
- Campaigner for women’s rights and British MP Eleanor Rathbone was one of the organization’s founders
- More than 10 Local Association groups
- Average award given to recipients is around £3000
Since 2013, PINK S.T.E.M. has set forth to break the status quo of girls in STEM by creating “a world where all girl’s equal opportunity rights are no longer questioned, forgotten, or marginalized.” Mentoring, tutoring, and field experiences are the main avenues the organization advances towards its worthy cause.
Key Facts About PINK S.T.E.M.:
- 62 total volunteers
- 56 STEM projects
- $9000+ in total donations