Education

Google’s “Made with Code” Initiative Targets Girls For Computer Science

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Google invested $50 million with the simple and singular focus of bringing more girls into their coding fold.

The initiative called Made with Code will kick-off with 150 New York-area high school girls in Manhattan, hosted by Mindy Kaling from TV’s The Mindy Project and speakers such as Chelsea Clinton for the event. Indie rockers Icona Pop will perform and coders will demo how they make everything from animated movies to designer fabrics using software.

“As a very nerdy, indoor kid, I would have been a candidate for coding, but instead I sat around and wrote plays,” said Kaling. “I always felt tech stuff was for boys, but clearly that’s not the case. This is a cultural thing, and we’ve got to overcome it.”

Clinton noted that the number of women graduating with degrees in computer-science plummeted from nearly 40% in the ‘80s to 14% today. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million programming-related jobs with only a quarter of qualified candidates available to fill positions. With that being said, Ruthe Farmer of the National Center for Women and Information Technology advises encouraging women to pursue careers where there will be immense growth in the coming years.

“We need a wider swath of kids to come into this field,” says Farmer, who will also be speaking at the Google event. “Why not focus on the majority of college students: women?”

By the recent demographics reports revealed by Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn, it is far from surprising to see that 70% of the workforce consists of males.

Made with Code anchored a website for girls to dip their feet into basic techniques by using code to make bracelets and other items. Google has also ventured grants to begin hosting “girl-coding parties” at Girls Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs around the country.

See the introductory Made with Code video below:

(Photo: Ken Moore)