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Making A Difference

Making coding cool

Alexis Maybank (MBA 2004)

Alexis Maybank (MBA 2004) is not a coder. “That’s the one thing I wish I had learned,” says the cofounder of the successful flash-sale site Gilt Groupe. “Coding is a very useful language to know. It’s almost as important a language to learn as French or Spanish.”

Now Maybank, who has spent almost 20 years in the tech sector, is encouraging middle school and high school girls to learn the language of the 21st century as a board member of Girls Who Code.

Women are underrepresented in the tech industry and, too often, Maybank says, girls are “chased out of the computer lab because it’s Boys Only.” Through Girls Who Code, teenage girls are exposed to the world of computer science and given the education and support they need to pursue careers in the field. The nonprofit has school computer science clubs in more than 20 states and organizes summer internships at companies like Gilt Groupe.

“Our goal is to increase participation rates among women,” says Maybank. “It’s a big challenge, but the numbers are growing.”

(Published August 2015)