Google Launches Award To Increase Media Representations Of Women In Tech

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Midway through 2014, Google and a few other high-ranking tech companies released diversity reports for the first time, giving public accountability to the breakdown of their staff. The numbers and stats weren’t exactly great. As predicted, the majority of people who make up Google employees are white men, second to them are Asian men.

They stated only 30% of its employees are women, while African-Americans and Hispanics only comprised 1 and 2% of Google’s tech employees, respectively. Many of the other major tech companies didn’t exactly fare much better. But Google have been working hard to change the representation of their staff with the launch of their Made With Code initiative for girls which was launched in June.

With the announcement of Susan Wojcicki as the new CEO of Youtube in February, it seems they are putting motions in place to enable the younger generation of women to see that tech is not just a man’s world, nor does Google want it to be.

Now Google have added another rung to the ladder of increasing women in tech. They are launching a new award called the Portrayal of Women in Tech. They have teamed up with the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) but they want the public to help out and nominate people.

“What we’re looking for are nominations of portrayals of women in technology that are positive, realistic, and reinforce the idea that this is a place that women can work and be successful, and be considered contributors to society,” said Ruthe Farmer, chief strategy and growth officer for the NCWIT in a statement.

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Google’s philosophy behind partnering with NCWIT and EIC was to increase visibility of women in tech roles.

“Both internal and external research tells us that career perception accounts for so much of a girl’s decision to pursue computer science,” said Julie Ann Crommett, Google’s program manager for computer science in media. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of popularly-held misconceptions about the tech field — for example that it’s not collaborative or does not have social impact — which has been known to drive girls away.”

“Our hope is that by dispelling stereotypes and identifying positive portrayals of women in tech we can do for CS what CSI did for the field of forensic science, changing its gender make-up and increasing its appeal to a wider audience.”

“Gender diversity enhances innovation and expands the qualified employee pool, increasing corporate profitability. However, the industry is failing at attracting wide-ranging talent,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. “Collaborating with EIC and Google enables us to use the power of mass media to replace myths and stereotypes with inclusive portrayals that will inspire girls and women to seek computing opportunities.”

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“Media portrayals are just the tip of the iceberg for making young women’s first impression about technical work count,” says the description below the Youtube video promoting this exciting new award.

What Google wants you to do is recommend and nominate women from all sorts of media platforms and share why you think they are a great role model and representation for other girls. You can submit names up until January 18, 2015, then the voting will open during Spring 2015, and finally the winner announced at the 2015 NCWIT Summit for Women and IT on May 19-21 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

“EIC is proud to recognize the power and influence actors and actresses have to bring to life inspiring and exciting characters who can change attitudes and perceptions of diverse audiences about career paths of the future,” said Brian Dyak, President and CEO of EIC.

“Since CSI: Crime Scene Investigation began, over a decade ago, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of educational programs for forensic science; researchers have even noted a 50 percent increase in the number of women pursuing these fields. The ‘CSI effect’ set the bar for sciences; now we plan to expand that positive reach to technology careers and beyond.”

Check out the video invitation below to get an idea of how important an initiative like this will be on the next generation of girls in tech!


 

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  1. Pingback: This Infographic Lists The Inspiring Trailblazing Women Making Their Mark In The Tech Industry - GirlTalkHQ

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