Somewhere along the way as female freshmen and sophomores take their necessary general education classes and prereqs, a direction for the future winds into their consciousness.

A major is chosen, a summer internship is completed, four-year plans are set and, eventually, degrees are awarded.

For women interested in computer science majors upon entering college, the chances are high during this period they’ll change their minds and pursue an alternative course of study and eventually, an entirely different career.

High quit rates for women in computer science majors were calls for concern for Sue Harnett and Kimberly Jenkins, two women who’ve spent decades building careers around technology and innovation.

That’s why they took on a project aimed to combat tech dropout rates among women. After placing 10 female students from Triangle colleges in Silicon Valley internships and creating a peer-to-peer network among them last summer, the pair decided to create a national nonprofit to scale up the operation. Their mission at launch this spring is to keep women focused on computer science and close the gender gap in technology oriented fields.

The organization, called Rewriting the Code, connects female college students with internship opportunities, career readiness resources, peer and mentor introductions, virtual and in-person communities and support they need to thrive in their computer science majors.

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Rewriting the Code Shepherds College Women (Starting with Duke U) into Tech Careers