Google Starts $50 Million 'Made with Code' Initiative, Focuses on Female Coders
By John Nassivera | Jun 26, 2014 04:47 PM EDT
Google launched a $50 million initiative Thursday called "Made with Code", which is aimed at recruiting more women to work as coders.
The search giant revealed recently that out of all its tech employees, only 17 percent of them are women, who make up 48 percent of the company's employees not involved in technology, according to Discovery News.
Google's Made with Code website features links to videos about inspirational female mentors and introductory coding projects for which knowledge about programming is not needed.
"Nowadays, coding isn't just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn't just for engineers," Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said in a Google blog post. "Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there."
1.4 million computing jobs are expected to be available in 2020, but only 400,000 of students in the U.S. will graduate from college in computer-science, and only 12 percent of graduates with computer-science degrees are women, TIME reported.
Google conducted research to better understand the gender gap in computing and discovered that the number of women that major in computer-science dropped from 37 percent in 1984 to 12 percent today. The company also found that most girls decide before going to college whether they want to learn to code, and that four important factors determined whether girls chose to study computer science. The factors were social-engagement, academic exposure, self-perception and career perception.
Made with Code begins Thursday at an event in New York hosted by Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Clinton. The event will take place for 150 high-school-age girls.
"Coding is a fundamental skill that's going to be a part of almost everything," said Megan Smith, vice president of Google[x]. "So for kids to really at a minimum just be able to express themselves in code and make things and feel confident, that would be important- no matter what their career is."
The company will focus some of its $50 million initiative on funding support programs that help more female students get involved in computer science, which includes giving rewards to teachers helping girls take online classes in the subject through Codeacademy or Khan Academy, Discovery News reported.
Google is also looking to get Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., and other organizations involved in Made with Code.