Join us for our virtual hackathon Nov. 10-12
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that creates welcoming, supportive opportunities for women and non-binary adults to learn software development skills.
We envision a world where all people are included and empowered in developing the future of technology.
We are committed to making sure people of all races, education levels, income and upbringing can build confidence in their skill set to develop web and mobile applications. Our goal is to provide powerful hands-on programs in software development and create basic to advanced web and mobile applications.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
Through the lens of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, GDI pursues its mission with the aim to provide high quality and accessible training opportunities in a welcoming and supportive learning environment.
GDI started as a call to action for those who were tired of the low representation of women & non-binary adults in tech, and wanted to make a difference. The organization was founded in New York City in 2010 and launched with a single introductory web development class that sold out in 24 hours. Since then, we have been offering classes throughout the United States and have served over 100,000 women & non-binary adults.
Since 2020, we have taken our programs virtually and have hosted over 150 virtual classes and events. We welcome everyone to our classes & events and have designed a range of opportunities designed to welcome new learners as well as support seasoned technologists looking to refresh and skill up.
Katie Franco, Executive Director
Katie started her career over 20 years ago in the non-profit sector and has pursued her passion for social change throughout her career leading various efforts on the local and national levels. Before starting at GDI, Katie served as the Vice President of Mission and Expansion at Best Buddies International and the Vice President of Regional Initiatives at the Tampa Bay Partnership. Katie has a Masters in Public Administration and currently lives in Vermont with her husband and two girls.
Brenda Jin is an entrepreneur and software engineer. She’s the founder of Guanyin Labs, a company that’s helping employees reach their full potential. Before that, she taught herself to code in 2013 (with the help of GDI!) and became a Senior UI Developer at Macys.com, then a Staff Engineer at Slack.
Janelle Jolley has a background in journalism and public policy, but eventually found her way to tech after moving to Atlanta and not knowing where to shop. It was there that she founded a marketplace startup, Sidewalk District, as a result of her passion for local independent retailers and their ability to spur economic development in communities across America.
After her tour of duty as a founder, Janelle moved to California and began working at Google. Her background as a founder made her the perfect fit for being a Product Operations Manager leading international and vertical expansion with Google Local Services, a new startup within Google focused on local SMBs.
Erynn Petersen, who is a returning board member, was formerly the Executive Director of the Outercurve Foundation. Petersen is a longtime product and engineering executive, having spent time in her career leading teams at Time, Inc., Microsoft, and Amazon. Petersen said: “There’s an urgent need for the creators of technology to reflect the people who are consuming that technology. I am deeply committed to increasing the ranks of women and non-binary adults in technical careers.”
Kaya Thomas is the founder of We Read Too and a full-time iOS developer. Formerly she co-founded the Zonta Science Camp with the Zonta International Club of New Rochelle where she designed curriculum, facilitated lessons & projects, organized volunteers and mentored camp attendees for over four years. Thomas has been an active volunteer at Black Girls Code for over five years and last year became an active volunteer career mentor with Hack the Hood.
Jeseekia is a Software Engineer for Autonomic's IoT team where she specializes in MQTT-connected vehicles. She is very active in the Detroit tech community where she has been a Chapter Leader for 3 years and is also a co-founder of the Detroit Black Tech group and the trainX.ai program. She co-hosts SheTooSTEM, a podcast and community that highlights the experiences of Black women and their various career-paths in STEM.
Linnea Spampinato is a creative project manager with a background in marketing and business development. She has worked variously in industries ranging from architecture and design to fashion, education, and live events. Ms. Spampinato is an active mentor and volunteer for organizations championing gender equity in the workplace.
Cait Campos started her career in workforce development more than 10 years ago and has designed, developed and executed programs in more than 15 markets globally.
Currently, Cait leads Facebook’s Connectivity unit focused on extending broadband and bridging the digital divide in underserved communities.
Before joining Facebook, Cait was a consultant to the US Government in research, design and implementation of skills development programs in emerging markets. Prior to that, she started a non-profit focused on advancing women's access to higher education and career development.
Rebecca Sadwick Shaddix
Rebecca Sadwick Shaddix has a background in marketing leadership, software entrepreneurship, go-to-market strategy, and tech policy research. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Strategica Partners, which develops go-to-market and brand positioning strategies for tech companies that have been recognized by Inc., Forbes, TechCrunch, and others as some of the fastest-growing in their sector. She previously served as Director of Marketing at GoGuardian, Inc. 500’s fastest-growing education company in U.S. history.
She was recognized as the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Rising Star of 2019 for her track record leading high-growth strategies at Strategica Partners, and received Special Congressional Recognition from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
As a Forbes Contributor, she publishes research about the societal implications of advancements in the tech sector, and led the Digital Technologies Initiative at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, launching its Women in Tech initiative. She is an alumna of UCLA and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
You can follow the latest articles on Twitter @RebeccaSadwick, or rebeccashaddix.com.
Erkeda DeRouen is a physician that is Board-Certified in both Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine living in the Washington, DC Metro Area. She currently works as an Associate Medical Director of 98point6, a telemedicine company, serving as a thought leader in healthcare innovation. Dr. DeRouen is passionate about merging the humanistic aspect of medicine with the new field of emerging technology. Mentorship and self empowerment are important to her. She has continued to advise medical students for over a decade, and currently hosts a podcast focusing on hot topics in medicine geared towards pre-meds and medical students called "The Prospective Doctor." Erkeda loves to help people, especially women, overcome obstacles, network, and grow. This is why Girl Develop It, Inc is important to her. There is so little representation of women and non-binary people in tech and we need to work to change that.
Liliana Post is an accomplished professional with over 10 years of financial and operational experience. Her strong focus on workflow efficiency, organization and result has enabled her to successfully build Financial Planning and Analysis teams across non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Having lived in three economically different countries by age 9, Liliana is passionate about helping others with limited opportunities, starting with bridging the gender gap in the tech industry. She also volunteers at the local high school’s Girls Who Code after school club.
Her personal accomplishments include climbing Kilimanjaro on her honeymoon and coming back still married. She currently lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter.
Bio Coming Soon...