Women and girls of color will have additional opportunities for early involvement in the technology field via a new partnership between Citizens and Black Girls CODE. A component of Citizens’ previously announced commitment to promote social equity and advance economic opportunity in underserved communities, the partnership includes the launch of four new virtual CODE clubs to increase participation and interest in technology.
“One of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to social and economic equity is through partnerships such as this that promote inclusivity and access to opportunity,” said Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Financial Group. “The virtual CODE clubs being launched with Black Girls CODE will provide access and training to girls of color, helping to develop the kinds of creators, innovators and leaders that will power the workforce of the future.”
The virtual CODE clubs will be based in Providence, Boston, Phoenix and Charlotte, and each program will host 25 girls for six weeks. Citizens will work with local community partners to recruit girls ages 14-17 for participation in this program. Students will be introduced to coding and the tech space through project-based collaborative learning. The virtual CODE Club is offered twice per week for one hour each session, led by skilled tech instructors and supported by trained volunteers.
“We’re grateful to have the support of Citizens in the launch of our new virtual CODE clubs. The first step towards eliminating the socio-economic barriers that stand in the way of tech education is ensuring that it is accessible,” said Kimberly Bryant, Founder & CEO, Black Girls CODE. “Through our partnership with Citizens, we will empower youth to step into tech by equipping them with the necessary resources and tools; ultimately cultivating a solid foundation for our students to enter the industry and thrive.”
Throughout 2021, each city will host one virtual CODE club each providing a total of 100 girls of color with hands-on, intensive training to develop skills sets in one or more coding technologies. The curriculum is project based which allows the students to learn in a focused and engaged environment with a small group of peers. After completing the CODE clubs, students will be Black Girls CODE alumnae, with access to internship and networking development opportunities as they progress through their higher education journey.
Citizens is committed to harnessing the bank’s resources, expertise and the unique strengths of its culture to help drive real and lasting progress across the diverse communities it serves. This partnership is part of the commitment the company announced last summer that includes providing grants and charitable support for immediate and longer-term initiatives aimed at supporting underserved communities through technology, education and digital literacy initiatives. It also includes more than $500 million in incremental financing and capital for small businesses, housing, and other development in predominately minority communities. More information on Citizens commitment to social equity can be found here.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $183.3 billion in assets as of December 31, 2020. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,700 ATMs and approximately 1,000 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About Black Girls CODE
Since 2011, Black Girls CODE has been committed to providing girls from underrepresented communities access to technology and the 21st century skills necessary to become tech leaders. Black Girls CODE’s organizational vision is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.