Sure, Yahoo has a female CEO, but to say that the appointment of Marissa Mayer to one of the most coveted executive seats in the virtual world somehow solves the shortage of women in the tech sphere would be an enormously short-sighted statement.Don't get me wrong - it's great to have someone like Mayer helming a business like Yahoo. It certainly sets a good precedent for other female tech workers with administrative ambitions. But the amount of media attention Mayer received simply because of her gender - from articles highlighting her personal life (she married a pretty boy! she's chummy with Obama!) to those little mockeries of journalism that simply analyzed how good she looked - is itself an indicator that there's a bigger issue afoot.
For whatever reason, the unfortunate notion persists that technology is a man's world, and it's this inherently discriminatory industry view that's keeping many capable women out of the tech sphere. Clearly, there's more work that needs to be done not only to eradicate this industrial gendering, but also to make women feel comfortable pursuing a career in office spaces where there's bound to be a bunch of male heads a-turning every time two X chromosomes walk in the door. But now Google has stepped up to the plate to work toward solving this problem.
A $50 million investment toward getting women coding
Never a company to back away from the big issues - this is the company that seeks not only to "Street View" the entire world, but to also make sure there are more robots in that world - Google has taken up a task that is more human in nature: getting women into the doors of tech companies. To accomplish this, it's invested $50 million in a project called Made With Code, which according to TIME is an effort aimed at teaching girls to code.
The first phase of the project occurred in New York at an event designed for 150 girls in high school. Because Google is always tapped into the zeitgeist (or, if you prefer to look at it another way, is the arbiter of the zeitgeist) the company knew that its project would have to have some fresh (and famous) faces in order to attract potential coders. So it got Chelsea Clinton and actress Mindy Kaling on board.
"I think coding is cool, but most girls don't," Kaling said in a statement published in the LA Times. "Made with Code lets girls see coding not just as something they can do, but something they'd love to do."
One big component of Google's project is the interactive website it's launched, which, in addition to describing the goals of Made with Code, also provides rudimentary coding activities for people visiting the site to do in order to get acclimated to the idea of coding. Among the things the site allows you to code are bracelets (which can of course then be printed in 3D, you know, on your 3D printer that's sitting next to you) and of course the ubiquitous GIFs.
I don't know about you guys, but for us here at Fonality, this is cause for celebration.