June 26, 2014
In an effort to introduce more girls to the benefits of computer science, search engine giant Google recently introduced "Made with Code," an initiative aimed at encouraging women to enter the growing field. According to an official Google press release, the program was created in collaboration with other groups who hope to promote technology education for girls. Partners include Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch, Chelsea Clinton, and Mindy Kaling. The initiative also has support from Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling. According to Daily Digest News, "Made with Code," made its official debut in New York City with 100 girls from local organizations and public schools.
The program, which launched online this week, includes small coding projects aimed at introducing girls to coding basics, videos of successful women explaining the benefits of learning how to code, and a resource directory for girls and their parents to explore local events, camps, classes, and clubs. The hope is that, by showing girls how coding applies to their everyday lives, they might be able to attract girls into the growing field of computer science.
"Nowadays, coding isn't just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn't just for engineers," wrote Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, on Google's official blog. "Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there. Their future -- our future -- is made with code. Let's do what we can to make sure that future is as bright as possible."
Many experts cite the low numbers of women in technology as a problem for the future labor force for women in general.
"The numbers hurt: Women constitute more than half of the professional workforce, but only a quarter of workforce in tech," Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT, said in a statement quoted in Google's blog. "It's a problem, bordering on a crisis. We won't solve it easily, or quickly. But Made with Code is a great step in the direction of reversing this trend, and getting more and more girls to use coding to accomplish amazing things by doing what they love."
According to Boston.com, in addition to the investment into "Made with Code," Google has also promised a donation of approximately $50 million over a three-year period. The money will go to a range of initiatives aimed at getting more young girls interested in computer science. This investment adds to the $40 million Google has already donated to the cause since 2010, when they began collaborating with organizations including Code.org, Technovation, Black Girls Code, and Girls Who Code.
"Coding is a new literacy and it gives people the potential to create, innovate and quite literally change the world," Wojcicki stated. "We've got to show all girls that computer science is an important part of their future, and that it's a foundation to pursue their passions, no matter what field they want to enter. Made with Code is a great step toward doing that."
Compiled by Holly Johnson
"Google Launches Made with Code," googlepress.blogspot.ca, June 19, 2014, http://googlepress.blogspot.ca/2014/06/made-with-code-an-effort-by-google-to-inspire-girls-to-code.html
"Google Launches Program to Get Girls to Code," boston.com, June 21, 2014, Zeninjor Enwemeka, http://www.boston.com/business/technology/2014/06/21/google-launches-program-get-girls-code/7a1ZGpwt7kYQM0mgKGZ7mO/story.html
"Google launches program to teach girls to code," dailydigestnews.com, June 22, 2014, Justin Beach, http://dailydigestnews.com/2014/06/google-launches-program-to-teach-girls-to-code/
"Things you love are Made with Code," googlepress.blogspot.ca, June 19, 2014, Susan Wojcicki, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/things-you-love-are-made-with-code.html