1. Google is not acting alone
Google isn’t enlightening girls about the world of coding all by themselves. In fact, they are joining a plethora of people and organizations to launch Made with Code.
Some of their partners include celebrities like Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling. “Right now, our voices aren’t being heard,” Clinton said at the initiative’s launch event on June 19.
The Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Girls Who Code, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, and more, have also decided to join Google on their mission to increase coding interest in young girls, due in part to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projection that there will be 4.2 million jobs in the computer science field by 2020; these organizations hope that girls make up half of them.
Plans for Google to work with the Science and Entertainment Exchange are in the works, so that girls can see more female engineer characters portrayed on television. With people onscreen to look up to, girls may feel more comfortable about the idea of majoring in computer science.
2. Google is backing it up with $$$
Since 2010, Google has invested about $40 million in organizations like Code.org, which provides students with a free “Hour of Code” to learn about the science, and Girls Who Code, a two-year-old nonprofit which is dedicated to closing the gender gap in the technology sphere . Following their announcement about Made with Code, Google declared that in the next three years, they will be donating $50 million to support programs that will increase gender diversity in the field of computer sciences.
One project they plan on piloting will reward teachers that support young female students who take computer science courses on online learning websites such as Codecademy or Khan Academy.
3. There’s an inspirational video series
Made With Code’s website has many features, including a video section featuring female role models who are involved in the tech industry, sometimes in unconventional ways. All of the featured women exude confidence, rely on creativity and have passion for what they do.
For example there’s Miral Kotb, a woman who loves to dance but also has an “affinity for writing code.” A few years ago, she combined her two passions to create iLuminate, a dance show featured on Off-Broadway and America’s Got Talent that incorporates wireless lighting technology to tell a unique story:
And then there’s Ayah Bdeir, an interactive artist and engineer, who founded littleBits, or blocks that allow people with little programming experience to create interactive gadgets:
After viewing these vibrant videos, girls may be able to realize that coding can be incorporated into their unique passions and hobbies in ways they never imagined—that things they love are “made with code.”
(Next page: 4-5)