Kode With Klossy: Learn About Karlie Kloss’s Empowering Project For Girls

Karlie Kloss is a supermodel, entrepreneur, philanthropist, host and executive producer on Project Runway's upcoming season (17th), owner of her own YouTube channel, Klossy, global brand ambassador for Estee Lauder and founder of Kode With Klossy.

A long time science, math and technology lover, Kloss decided to take coding classes when she got a little break from her modeling career. “I was looking for something new to learn”, she said in an interview with Teen Vogue. After her first class, Karlie realized that “just like art and fashion, code is about creativity, and that women who have these skills have the power to shape our future”.

Image Source: Kode With Klossy on Twitter

This new skill made her realize the huge potential of coding and the significantly small number of opportunities for girls to pursue careers in science. Afterwards, she offered 20 scholarships for girls to learn coding and got over 100 applicants. That was the beginning of Kode With Klossy.

Therefore, she decided to create a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focused non-profit program in 2015 to empower girls to “learn to code and become leaders in tech”.

Image Source: Kode With Klossy on Twitter

The organization hosts coding summer camps for girls aged 13-18, and is part of a community furthering opportunities for girls in tech. A great way to meet other young women who are interested in coding and technology, the summer camp is a free two-week program where you will learn to build real-life apps. And maybe make some new friends.

The apps come from the girls themselves (or scholars, as they are called in the camps) and they can be for a variety of things, like fashion, music or social activism. According to Kloss, they’ve had “scholars build apps that help people who are homeless, locate gender-neutral public bathrooms, treat and diagnose ADHD and track legislation in Congress”.

Image Source: Kode With Klossy on Twitter

Due to historical and social factors, there’s a gender gap in the science and technology field, which is predominantly occupied by men. Young girls aren’t even encouraged to learn math, physics, chemistry, etc, in school, because it is predetermined that boys are better at these subjects.

According to Unesco Institute for Statistics, less that 30% of researchers are women. That reflects the fact that it is so much harder for female researchers to accomplish as much as male researchers do and the reason for that is plain and simple: discrimination. Women are much less likely to be hired, get their projects funded or be taken seriously at all. A simple example to prove our point: since Nobel prizes started being awarded, only three women have won the Nobel Prize in Physics and five won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In over 100 years.

Image Source: Kode With Klossy on Twitter

Karlie, who already has plans to expand the program to reach as many girls as possible with the same quality, has stated that tech companies offer many work opportunities and that they are just realizing they need diversity as well. “My biggest hope for the girls is that it (coding) shifts their perspective of their own power”, she said on the podcast No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis. Giving young women the opportunity to learn this skill, eliminating the barrier that limits their access to it is the first step to end  the gender gap in science and technology.

Reflecting the need for these kinds of initiatives, by 2018, Kode With Klossy had 50 camps in 25 cities in the United States and taught over 1000 girls how to code creatively in order to fuel their own ideas showing “that code can be applied to whatever it is they’re passionate about”.

Check out what these girls are now doing with their coding superpower: