Start Time: 03:31
End Time: 07:44
Bryant left corporate America to start Black Girls Code because of her vision. She’s motivated by her daughter, seeing only boys in her computer classes.
Upload Date: Jan 19, 2021
Bryant left corporate America to start Black Girls Code because of her vision. She’s motivated by her daughter, seeing only boys in her computer classes. Bryant was afraid to make the leap into running her own business full-time because of the financial risk.
At what point did you leave corporate America to start your own thing? Start this organization? Well, my path to really working as the founder and executive director of BGC did not happen overnight. So I started the organization in 2000 and 11. But I did not fully commit in terms of doing this and only this full time until about 2000 and 13 the middle of 2013. But before that time, I was really focused on trying to do this as a passion project while I was doing my day job. So I would goto work and, you know, do my project management work at I was consulting at the time when I started Black Girls Code, and I would do that during the day and in between time and at night, I would focus on black Girls code until I could not do both at the same time. And that was about 2013 when I finally made the leap to really focus on this is my full time job. So you kept it as a side hustle until it became overwhelmingly clear that you needed to go all in to get it to the next stage. Without a doubt, I would say that I probably kept this a little bit longer than I probably should have, because it was about akin to working two full time jobs at one time by by a certain point. And I just had Thio make a leaf out there and thio nothing. That's really because I did not, um, support myself with the salary and probably to almost another year. So it was really Meeks deciding I needed to focus on this full time, taking my savings and saying, Okay, I'm going to use these savings and pull everything out of my four on one K because I believe in this vision and do this until I can actually pay myself a salary. And that didn't happen toe almost a year later. Wow, Is there something looking back at that time? Now, if you could kind of whisper to yourself, What? What would you say? Because it sounds like it would be very stressful to risk everything, put it all on the line for this. But obviously it's served you well. It served the community in the world so well, what would you say to yourself? I probably would say something like trust in your vision and have faith because the pieces will come together. So, like, I honestly, you know, I mean, I can't say I don't want other entrepreneurs. I think this is an easy thing to do because it was not. It was like, very scary, especially for me as a single parent, because I was It was not just myself that I was supporting. I was also supporting my daughter, you know, I was making sure that, you know, her school was tuition was paid for that she had the things that she needed. But I just really believe so much in this vision that e just kind of had to take this as a risk. So really not being afraid to take the risk of something that I would say, although was scary to do that and really kind of trust in the process. And you mentioned your daughter. I know that she's at the heart of black girls code and how the idea came to be. Were you surprised that she faced a similar kind of lack of diversity in her engineering and science classes, as you had as a young person interested in math and science. Yeah, I was having lunch today with someone, and I kind of mentioned that, Really, The motivation for starting Black Girls code for me was the rial ization that my daughter's classroom, you know, 30 plus years later, you know, from the time that I went to college, looked very similar to what my freshman engineering classroom look like. Just one little girl of color than a sea full of white men. Ah, boys in her case and that's it. And it was mind boggling to me that we would be here in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, where tech was so prevalent as a tool for folks every day in their careers, etcetera and her classroom was looked like my classroom looked in the mid eighties, and that was like a motivator for me to really make this organization come into existence because I didn't see anyone else doing it.