Google recently launched their “Made with Code” initiative, which hopes to bring more girls into the computer sciences.
Partnering with a number of people and institutions that include Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scout of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, Nation Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Seventeen, and Tech Crunch. They hope to increase the number of young women who want to code. With less than 1% of high school girls seeing computer science as part of their future, Google hopes to change this through their new initiative.
Unfortunately, the number of female computer science graduates has dropped dramatically over the last two decades. In the mid-80’s, women comprised 37% of all computer science graduates, while today they comprise only 16% of graduates.
Google is also pledging $50 million over the next three years to support a number of programs that work to increase gender diversity in computer science, which builds upon the $40 million they have previously committed to organizations since 2010. These partner organizations do everything from reward teachers who teach women to code, to encourage the entertainment industry to portray more female engineer characters in family television and film.
Made with Code itself will consist of resources for parents and girls to find out about local events and classes, video profiles of women who explain how and why they love to code, and workshops to let girls complete their first coding experience.
With so few young women actively pursuing careers in computer science, it will be interesting to see the effect the initiative on graduating classes within the next few years. Needless to say though, the more people interested in computer science, the better. And with Google’s own workforce comprising of 70% men, we’ll see if it makes a change there as well.