A couple of years ago, Google invested $50 million on Made With Code, an initiative that encourages more women to be part of computer science. This program wants young girls to learn to code so they can build the things they love, be it an app or a video game. The purpose of the project is to integrate more women into the Silicon Valley and close the gender gap.
A study suggests that out of the total population of Computer Science degree holders, women make up a mere 17%. And that’s probably why the tech industry is largely being run by men. Made With Code suggests that coding will also bring about entrepreneurial propensities in girls because they’ll be able to bring their ideas to life. It appears that Google has taken notice that men tend to crowd up the tech field and that women are socialized to take on traditionally “feminine” jobs.
When they started the imitative, Google hosted the “Made With Code” event in New York City to inspire women of all ages. Google has also recruited mentors to inspire girls with their projects.
Megan Smith, the Google X EVP says that coding and tech isn’t presented as an avenue for girls to get on. She criticized television shows and movies where men always get depicted as the computer genius over women. She believes all these factors add up to drive girls away from coding. They do not have role models to look up to. There is no one on the television their young minds can relate to, no one they watch on the screens and aspire to be like, at least in the science scope.
Google plans to execute this idea by setting up camps across the country where girls can get together and learn to code. A group learning system means more exposure—and Google has found that social encouragement is one of the biggest factors for women to get into tech, along with successful women to look up to.
Others talked of the stigma that comes with women in tech—girls are labeled “nerdy” if they express and interest in science and “bossy” if they show leadership qualities. Google wants this project to reach out to girls, both in their classrooms and at home. They want to achieve this by donating $15 million to computer science projects focused on girls for the next three years.
At this point, I really want to bring up what we here at XNSPY want to achieve. We provide a parental control app. One that is meant to monitor, not stop the use of technology. We always encourage parents to view gadgets as tools for growth and development, not devil boxes that are sure to hinder a child’s performance in schools. Heck, even schools are starting to get enlightened in this regard. They realize that technology has to be integrated in education systems rather than reprimanded. That is the only way forward.
Glass ceilings have always existed in the Silicon Valley, but it seems like they might finally be broken—with code, no less.