Internet search conglomerate Google has turned into Uncle Sam for female coders and techs. The billion-dollar company is shelving out 50 million dollars to encourage more girls to learn how to code and bridge the gender cap. As part of the Made with Code Initiative, the gender disparity in the tech world is something that Google is setting out to combat and bring more women into the ever-changing computer programming world.
It never really occurs to many people that the tech industry is a heavily male-dominated market. According to the Labor Department, only 20 percent of software developers are female and only 17 percent of Google’s tech workers are women. With only 12 percent of today’s computer science degrees going to woman and the even less pursuing a career in their field, Google wants to encourage more woman to embrace their tech-savvy side and join the growing world of computer programmers.
The Made with Code Initiative event kicked off this past Thursday at Skylight Modern in Manhattan. Backed by Chelsea Clinton and emceed by comedian Mindy Kaling, the two positive figures want more female coders to step into the world of computer programming. Both are no strangers to opposition in achieving success. Writer, director, and comedian Kaling broke through the color barrier and became the first American-Indian woman to star in NBC’s The Office and, later, star in her own sitcom series on Fox, The Mindy Project. Providing a different face to the average American-woman in the medical field with relationship troubles, Kaling’s show has become a huge hit for Fox and just finished its second season.
Growing up in the public eye, Chelsea Clinton went through some of her most awkward years in the face of public ridicule. A pregnant Clinton took to the stage Thursday night to represent her family’s foundation and offer encouraging words to the young girls in attendance. Clinton went on to state that women need to gain their hold in the tech world and end the lack of diversity.
Whether it is developing some new apps for dating, shopping, or any other everyday use, Kaling wants woman with bright ideas to learn how to make them a reality. The only problem with such great ideas is the lack of knowledge to bring them to fruition.
With the Made With Code Initiative, partly funded by Google, girls from middle school to high school age will have the chance to learn more about the behind-the-scenes world of technology. Joining Google in this progressive idea are Girl Scouts of USA Inc. and Girls, Inc. All three companies have decided to fund 50 million dollars through website development, scholarships, and other tools to help female coders pursue their passion.
The Initiative is a great and self-aware step for Google and the other companies involved to get female coders into their doors. With more girls coming into the fold, more new ideas and interesting concepts may arise. The technology field is an ever-changing and growing business that could be a lucrative career path for many young, innovative thinkers to take advantage of.
By Tyler Cole