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Google Offers 3 Months of Continuing Education For Free to Minority Females

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Google launches program to teach minority females how to code for free.


Reported by Nigel Boys

After a recent report by Google, which stated that only 1 percent of its tech employees are African-American, 2 percent Hispanic, and 30 percent female, the search giant is offering free coding lessons to help increase these figures.

Gregg Pollack, CEO of the Code School, wrote in a recent blog post that Google will give away vouchers to women who attended their annual conference of I/O developers and will extend those vouchers online to thousand of women and minority applicants who want to expand their technical skills.

As part of their new $50 million initiative “Made With Code,” Google will pay for three months of continuing education for these lucky individuals who are already in technology. The online application is open to women all over the world in an attempt to bring Google to “where we want to be.”

Pollack went on to blog that only 3 percent of scientists and engineers are African-Americans and only 25 percent of IT jobs are held by women. He added that Google’s aim was to increase that number to a figure more in line with today’s available workforce.
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According to Megan Smith, vice president of Google’s X division, the free education to women and minorities is partly because the company feels guilty about their bias toward the male population. She adds, “We shouldn’t feel guilty about our biases. We should wake up and do something about them.”

Whether or not word had gotten out about Google’s generous offer, in advance, is a matter for speculation, but at their annual conference this year, there were twice as many women who attended when compared to the previous year.

The Labor Department appears to agree with Google statistics because their figures show that women hold only 20 percent of the software developers’ jobs available in the U.S. and only 12 percent of computer science degrees.

Encouraging women at the conference to aim higher in the IT field were Jaime Waydo, systems engineer for Google X; Yoky Matsuoka, vice president of technology at Nest; and Google X hardware engineer Gabriella Levine. The three technological specialists, along with others, shared what drove them into working with Google and their history of building robots.