For Corinne Warnshuis, the future of Philly’s tech scene depends on closing the gender gap.
Corinne Warnshuis, shown above speaking in San Francisco at Dreamforce 2015, the world’s largest tech conference.
Raised by a single mother who not only survived breast cancer but raised her five children while working as a hairdresser, Corinne Warnshuis has seen firsthand what a strong woman is capable of—and she’s determined to empower women by providing inexpensive, accessible computer and coding classes. This 28-year-old California native is the “It” girl of IT with the work she’s doing as executive director of Girl Develop It, a national nonprofit headquartered in Philadelphia that provides women web and software development classes in 54 cities across the nation.
With only two years at the helm of GDI, she’s already been invited—twice—to the White House: attending the first-ever White House Tech Meetup last year and rubbing shoulders earlier this year with the likes of Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama at the summit on the United State of Women.
Warnshuis’s calendar is packed these days (she was recently accepted to Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders), and she knows the stakes are big. “At the beginning, we said ‘Let’s not talk about the problem, let’s do something about women being left out of the tech conversation,’” she says. “We’re now teaching a thousand women a month. And when women find their confidence in the classroom, they realize they can do other things, too. That’s the promise of women’s empowerment.”