Hexbyte Tech News Wired
Kevin Systrom, Cofounder of Instagram
Karlie Kloss, Founder of Kode With Klossy
1Kode With Klossy hosted 50 camps in 25 cities this summer.
The pair got together to discuss the tech gender gap—from the top down and the ground up.
Kevin Systrom: Many people on this list have nominated amazing technologists, but diversity is one of the most important trends in tech right now.
Karlie Kloss: I’m not a technologist, but I started taking coding classes in 2014. I had millions of girls following me on Instagram, so I put out a video saying “If you want to learn how to code, I’m underwriting scholarships.” We had thousands of girls apply for 20 spots.
Systrom: The truth is we don’t have enough women in technology; we all acknowledge that. You can’t build great products if you just have a bunch of men sitting in a room, making decisions about a community that is vast and diverse.2
280 percent of Instagram users live outside the US.
Women make up half the world, so why aren’t they half of technology workers as well?
Kloss: A lot of the feedback we get from our young coders is that they were one of only a couple girls who signed up for a computer science class at school, and they felt stupid asking a question. It’s about gaining the confidence to see yourself in an industry where there might not be a lot of people that look like you.3
34 percent of students taking the AP Computer Science exam in 2017 were Hispanic and Latina girls, and 2 percent were black girls.
Systrom: So there’s the tangible way of measuring progress, but there’s also the intangible: Are we using our voices to raise awareness about this issue?
Kloss: That’s a great place to start, but it’s important to go beyond that conversation to ensure equal access to opportunity and learning.
Systrom: Those are metrics we look at internally. How do we recruit, grow, and keep amazing women working at Instagram? The ultimate goal is to watch those numbers trend toward 50 percent, at a faster and faster pace.4
4Women make up fewer than 24 percent of tech roles at six of the largest tech companies (Apple, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook, which owns Instagram).
And it’s not just about representation, it’s about representation in senior leadership roles.
Kloss: I think the young women I work with recognize the power and potential that exists in tech, both as future entrepreneurs and as drivers of social change. Coding is a logic-based language, but we really focus on how creative and applicable it is to real life.
Hexbyte Tech News Wired Kevin Systrom
Apple or Android?
“I have to have both, to be able to build for both, so I have a phone number for each.”
“A golden retriever sitting with a chemistry set, wearing goggles. It says ‘I have no idea what I’m doing.’”
Hexbyte Tech News Wired Karlie Kloss
Apple or Android?
“I love Apple iOS. It’s what inspired me to learn Swift.”
First time I saw the internet:
“AOL Instant Messenger. I lived in those chat rooms.”
Grooming by James Anthony
This article appears in the October issue. Subscribe now.
MORE FROM WIRED@25: 2008-2013
- Editor’s Letter: Tech has turned the world upside down. Who will shake up the next 25 years?
- Opening essay by Clive Thompson: The dawn of Twitter and the age of awareness
- Jack Dorsey and ProPublica: Experimental journalism
- Jennifer Pahlka and Anand Giridharadas: Less elite philanthropy, more democracy
- Elizabeth Blackburn and Janelle Ayres: Germs gone good
- Kai-Fu Lee and Fei-Fei Li: Bringing humanity to AI
Join us for a four-day celebration of our anniversary in San Francisco, October 12–15. From a robot petting zoo to provocative onstage conversations, you won’t want to miss it. More information at www.Wired.com/25.