Google has launched a new initiative named ‘Made with Code’ that is aimed at getting young girls excited to learn computer science and close the gender gap in the tech industry. They have made a commitment of $50 million over three years to support programs that can help get more women interested in coding.
Today only a quarter of IT roles are held by women, while African Americans only make up about 3 percent of scientists and engineers. The facts are clear. There is a large gap in STEM fields and Google is investing in women and minorities so they can continue to develop their tactical skill sets.
Strong female leaders are stepping up to mentor the initiative. For instance, Erica Kochi leader of innovation at UNICEF has used coding to build different systems of communication in effort to aid developing nations and people living in remote areas. Only one in three people are registered at birth. Using code she was able to register children’s births across Nigeria and ensure that kids were being immunized, treated for HIV, educated, and protected. The line of code powered a voice opening up a two way street of communication in some of the most remote places in the world.
Danielle Feinberg, a cinematographer at Pixar creates a world and brings it to life through coding. Ayah Bdeir, is an engineer and interactive artist that designs electronic building blocks making it easier for people to play, invent and create with technology. These are just a few of the faces backing Google’s initiative.
The program is a way for Google to provide resources and act as a central body using collaborative efforts with groups like Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc. and Girls Who Code. The website will act as a main portal of basic coding projects, information, strong female role models and other resources that provide encouragement and show people why and how coding can be impactful. Other funds will go toward rewarding teachers who support girls taking computer science courses on Codeacademy or Khan Academy, and Google is also working with the Science and Entertainment Exchange to see that more female engineer characters are depicted in TV and film.
Made with Code launched with partners Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab and the National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen and TechCrunch amongst many others. Teens are already involved and it should be interesting to see how much influence Google will have on this movement.
For more information visit the Made With Code website.