Career Girls got its start in 1996 with a simple idea: Give young girls useful methods for attaining their professional dreams and goals. At the time, Linda Calhoun, founder and executive producer of Career Girls, was working as a database consultant for international development projects supported by USAID and the World Bank. She found her work to be rewarding on many levels, and she wanted girls coming up behind her to know about exciting careers they could pursue in tech and beyond.
Linda decided the best way to accomplish this goal was to talk with women who had achieved their career ambitions, discuss the journey they took to become successful in their fields, and then provide girls with the educational materials they needed to follow those career paths.
By using a video-based format, Career Girls brings these women directly to girls wherever they are, increasing access to role models working as astronauts, sports anchors, engineers, animators, teachers, travel agents, musicians, physicians, marine biologists, computer systems analysts, authors, attorneys, and more.
Since its launch, the Career Girls team has interviewed more than 800 accomplished women role models from around the world and in dozens of cities throughout the United States, including Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Boston, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, and their home base of San Francisco. Career Girls now offers the largest online collection of career guidance videos focusing exclusively on diverse and accomplished women — over half of whom are in STEM fields — and we add to it weekly.
Research supports the need for girls to have women role models who can help them see what’s possible and realize their potential. Career Girls is committed to helping to fill this need for all girls through its girl-centric career exploration tool. And as we quickly found out, the need for Career Girls is there. In 2015, Career Girls passed the one-million views milestone on our YouTube channel. Today, that number is over six million and growing each day. Career Girls has also expanded its reach to more than 230 countries, with more than 20 million page views.
Through the Career Girls video-based platform, girls are discovering their own path to empowerment with the knowledgeable guidance of accomplished role models who share the story of their career and the educational path they took to get there. These role models speak directly to girls about considering different careers, developing skills, overcoming obstacles, and staying motivated. Most important of all, they are closing the imagination gap.
Today, Career Girls videos are seen around the world on multiple platforms, including TES Global and Share My Lesson. Career Girls collaborates with many organizations, including Global Fund for Women, Young Women in Bio, El Camino College, Girls Academic Leadership Academy, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, which features Career Girls in its interactive STEM exhibition.