People 05 October 2016
Karlie Kloss may be a gorgeous model, but she also believes computer science can empower women to pursue their dreams. It’s time for everyone to follow Karlie Kloss’ lead and treat computer science and its peripherals as a tool for self-empowerment instead of a quick-fix for underemployment.
To see her mission through, Karlie Kloss has collaborated with the Flatiron School to provide young girls and adult women alike with the opportunity to learn more about code, what it is, and how to do it. Her new initiative, Kode With Klossy marks the first time a supermodel champions women in tech with a dedicated platform.
None [of the female-led programs] have had a supermodel mascot on board to bust stereotypes.
A few other key features make Kode With Karlie different from the other female-led organizations – namely, the application process. While many admissions processes have limited deadlines and are exceedingly time-consuming, Kloss believes they’re more discouraging than inviting. Secondly, upon completing the program curriculum, Kode With Klossy Career Scholars will receive the opportunity to apply for paid “apprenticeships and fellowships with program partners, which include companies like WeWork, CondéNast, New York Magazine, Vice and more.” Furthermore, you can learn the basics for free. If you do this, you have a better chance of getting that career scholarship.
For many women, the only motivation to pursue computer science, or tech in general, was the money Financial security was the marketing approach the bootcamps took, and this is the one reason many want to learn how to code, as a software engineer's starting salary is better than most management salaries at other jobs.
“Whatever the dreams or goals of our students are, whether it’s fashion or sports, we’re going to teach them skills they can apply anywhere.”
- Karlie Kloss
The problem is, many have taken an entire industry – an entire innovative and disruptive field – and diminished it into a moneymaker. Putting aside how offensive this may be to those who love being software engineers, it’s no wonder that only 18% of women graduate with computer science degrees.
And then Karlie Kloss came along and demystified what it means to “code.” “Everybody touches technology every single day, and it has transformed so many industries," says Kloss. "But yet, so few people really know even what coding is, and much less how to do it." Kloss turned “learning to code” into an accessible concept; she let her fans know that, behind everything they love, there are “lines of code.” In fact, she encourages her followers to use social media to “learn how to write lines of code and to build the next Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook yourself.”
Kloss had literally taken her own advice to get to where she is; when she found out that her friend, Kevin Systrom – the CEO and Co-Founder of Instagram – had built the app himself, she realized she could eventually do it, too. All she needed to do was learn how.
Karlie Kloss with students at Kode With Karlie camp. Photo Credit: Flatiron School
In general, knowing how to program anything is a desirable skill that can get you far in life, especially as a woman. In the first iteration of Kode with Klossy, a free "coding" summer camp for girls between 13 and 18 years old, Kloss noticed that, “while each of the students learned the same technical skill set, the diversity of these projects showed them how code can be applied to whatever industry they choose to pursue.“ By continuing her own studies, Kloss says she is doing her part in being a voice for women who are interested in “learning to code.” She’s not telling them that it’s what will make them money, but rather empowering them to choose for themselves.
Here, five inspiring insights from Karlie Kloss on learning to code.1. "I found [programming] really empowering, and I wanted to share that learning with other girls, so I started a scholarship program to teach other girls to learn how to code.”
2. "The first few days are really challenging and then it all kind of starts to click, and then you all of a sudden are able to build things and write lines of code and it’s all making sense. It’s really an exciting and empowering feeling, and it’s really cool to watch these young women do it. It kind of totally changes their thought of what they think they’re capable of within this space.”
3. "If you can learn how to code, or if nothing else understand how things are built and understand the back end of technology even at a high level, it can be applied to any industry that you’re interested in.”
4. "No matter what industry you want to go into, what job you dream of having, with this skill set you really can create and bring more to the table in any industry. You don’t have to just learn this skill set to get a job at a tech startup. You can apply this thinking, apply this skill set to anything you want to do in life.”
5. "I think it’s crucial that young women learn to code as early as possible to ensure that we have a voice in what the world looks like.”
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.