Rapper YG is aiming to level the playing field for women and girls in the realm of tech. The Compton native—whose real name is Keenon Jackson—recently donated $150,000 to GirlCodeLA, Billboard reported.
The startup was launched as an avenue to educate and empower girls to pursue careers in computer science, software engineering and business, the news outlet writes. GirlCodeLA provides a wide range of programming including a technology-focused summer camp, coding workshops, and seminars from leaders within the tech industry. The organization was founded by Black tech entrepreneur Dez White; the woman behind the emoji company GlamRoks.
Cognizant of the obstacles that women face in STEM, YG believes that exposure to technology at an early age is crucial for overcoming gender bias. “Gender bias plays a role in the amount of exposure students receive in regards to technology and coding,” said YG in a statement, according to Billboard. “This leads to influence future decisions within their field, creating smaller opportunities for diversity. With my donation, I hope they’ll be able to expand their reach of future female coders and programmers. I want to make sure I’m doing my part, I got a daughter and I respect the G Code.”
The rapper also donated Beats by Dre headphones to all the girls who are a part of the program.
The lack of gender diversity in the tech industry is still a lingering issue. However, several programs have been established across the country to change that narrative. In June, the non-profit organization All Star Code—which is dedicated to increasing racial representation in STEM and encouraging more boys of color to pursue careers in the field—received a $1 million grant to fund its summer STEM training program.