Closing the Imagination Gap for Girls

San Francisco, CA   |


Career Girls is founded on the dream that every girl around the world has access to diverse and accomplished women role models — to learn from their experiences and to discover their own path to empowerment. is a comprehensive video-based career exploration and readiness tool for girls. It’s free to use, and free of ads. We have 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.

Ruling year info


Founder and CEO

Linda Calhoun

Main address

2325 Third Street Suite 345

San Francisco, CA 94107 USA

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NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Career Girls equips girls with inspiration and resources to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, math, and beyond. We work with children, youth, parents, and educators to help every girl around the world reach her full potential.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Career Exploration and Skills Development Platform is a comprehensive video-based career exploration and skills development platform for girls. We offer free access to 16,000 video clips of interviews with over 800 diverse and accomplished women role models, an online career quiz, college major quiz, detailed information on hundreds of careers and college majors, and video-based Empowerment Lessons and related curriculum to develop the skills necessary for success in the workplace.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Career Girls offers free in-person and virtual programming to girls. Career Girls virtual camps feature industry-leading women role models who share their expertise and facilitate breakout session activities. We create programming alongside diverse role models to provide unparalleled content that reflects what girls need to know from women who look like them. Direct student engagement also includes webinar series, town hall events, library collaborations, Career Girl Club and Career Girls Day events.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Where we work


Website Design - Gold 2018

Davey Awards

Website Design - Gold 2018

Horizon Awards

Notable Children's Media 2020

American Library Association

Affiliations & memberships

Alliance for Girls 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage increase in the Imagination Index scores for girls served.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Preteens, Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Direct Student Engagement Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Career Girls has created the Imagination Index, an evaluation tool that measures how Career Girls programming is shaping career and leadership aspirations of girls around the world.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

You need to see it to achieve it. Giving girls access to women role models helps them imagine themselves in STEM and other careers, and it gives girls confidence to pursue their dreams.

Girls and young women don’t pursue STEM as often as boys and young men do in part because they don’t see females in these roles. For example, studies show that girls who associate mathematics with boys and men are less likely to perceive themselves as being interested in or skilled at math. As a result, they spend less time studying and engaging with math concepts.

An “imagination gap” exists—the difference between career choices that girls imagine for themselves and the range of careers actually available for them to pursue based on their interests. Girls, particularly those in underserved communities, may not see themselves in STEM roles or know that particular roles even exist.

Career Girls exists to change this narrative. We educate and inspire girls and young women to know and pursue the careers of their dreams.

Career Girls works to meet these goals through the programs above. To address barriers that girls and young women face, our programs provide:

(1) Awareness support: 800+ career examples from accomplished women role models.
(2) Skills support: Step-by-step guidance, skill development videos, and empowerment lessons.
(3) Self-esteem support: Diverse role models who share stories of developing confidence and overcoming challenges.
(4) Guidance support: Each role model provides professional guidance on how to achieve her career path. Career Girls also provides a host of additional information for girls and their families, including “Mentoring Tips for Parents,” “College Terms,” learning guides, career-specific information like salary and the future jobs outlook for each career, etc.

Key features of our work include:

• Diverse women role models: By providing girls with examples of diverse women role models working in STEM fields, Career Girls strengthens the pipeline of women in STEM, increasing female presence, achievement, and persistence.
• Accessible, compelling content: We provide education content utilizing multiple formats and platforms that engage and serve girls.
• Tailored programs: While we serve girls and young women of all ages, our content is tailored to females aged 10-13, a pivotal age when girls generally start to show less interest in science and math.
• Partnership: Our programs are designed in collaboration with children, youth, and educators, so that Career Girls’ work reflects their priorities and maximizes effectiveness.

In 1996, Career Girls’ founder—then a database design consultant—walked into a government meeting and realized she was one of a few women, and the only woman of color, at the table. She resolved to bring more women to the table with her, a moment that inspired the start of Career Girls and continues to guide our work today.

Career Girls has an experienced, diverse, and motivated team, an engaged Board of Directors, and an expert Advisory Panel. We continually gather feedback from stakeholders—children, youth, educators, and women role models—to ensure that our programs are effective and serving the needs of girls and young women.

We collaborate with external partners as well. Recent collaborations include the: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Girl Scouts of Northern California, Global Fund for Women, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Black Girls Code, The Michigan Learning Channel, Detroit Public TV, and more.

The following are a few of Career Girls’ accomplishments over the last year, thanks to the support of generous donors around the world.

• We added online video content and curriculum from interviews of more than 100 new women role models across the US and internationally, including a significant increase in the number of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics careers represented.
• We received 5 million visitors to our online knowledgebase, which experiences significant growth annually.
• We developed a highly impactful series of free virtual camps for girls featuring industry-leading women role models who share their expertise and facilitate breakout session activities. Topics include AI and Robotics, Financial Empowerment, Environmental Science, and Business Models and IPO camp. Guest presenters included the president of the New York Stock Exchange and leading researchers in AI and robotics.
• We produced a free webinar series featuring hosted conversations and Q&A sessions with girl entrepreneurs paired with diverse role model entrepreneurs from the same field.
• We added over 30 new college student interviews to our online resources. These diverse near-peer college students share advice, inspiration, and encouragement for girls to attend college.
• We expanded our college major information resources and developed a popular and informative interactive quiz to help girls learn college majors that might interest them.

With your help, we are making progress to inspire and equip girls and young women, but there is still more to do, particularly in STEM fields. Career Girls will continue to work with children, youth, educators, and women role models to help every girl around the world can reach her full potential.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We respect the privacy of our online students and do not collect data from that group.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 12/23/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Linda Calhoun

Career Girls

Term: 2021 - 2024

Jason Ambrose


Ed Calhoun

Career Girls

Linda Calhoun

Career Girls

Beverly Thompson


Christine Hoefliger

Sheppard Mullin

Andrea Schulz


Rachael Esperanza


Desira Stearns


DeAndra Jean-Louis

Palo Alto Networks

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/11/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.