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Google Offering Scholarships to Women and Minorities to Learn to Code

Megan Smith, Senior Vice President, Google’s X Division announcing Google will offer scholarships for women and minorities to learn to code Photo Credit: Google Megan Smith, Senior Vice President, Google’s X Division announcing Google will offer scholarships for women and minorities to learn to code

A week before Google's I/O Conference, Google announced MADE WITH CODE, a new initiative to motivate future female programmers. On hand at the launch event in New York City, were MINDY KALING, CHELSEA CLINTON and approximately 150 high school girls. They represented local chapters of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Black Girls Code and Girls Who Code.

A week later at Google's I/O Conference in San Francisco, word came from on high that Google will pay for three months of continuing education for women and minorities in tech in an effort to close the tech gap.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 18 percent of software developers in the U.S. are women, while only 12% of computer science degrees today go to women. Google found from its own research published in its diversity report that only 30% of its employees are women, while African-Americans and Hispanics only comprised 1 and 2% of Google's tech employees, respectively. Google said the current state of its company diversity is "miles from where we want to be."

So what's a company to do? The search company is spending $50 million over the next three years to change these deplorable statistics and is partnering with Code School to execute MADE WITH CODE.

Google released an online application for MADE WITH CODE training vouchers that's available to women everywhere. Google says its available vouchers for women number in the "thousands."

Megan Smith, vice president of Google's X division, said the company's initiative to encourage women to seek tech as a career choice is all about "debugging inclusion."

"We shouldn't feel guilty about our biases," Smith said. "We should wake up and do something about them."

Last modified onSaturday, 13 September 2014 01:31