Posted on June 27, 2014

Google to Pay for Women, Minorities in Tech to Learn More Code

Seth Rosenblatt, CNET, June 26, 2014

Google’s putting its money where its diversity isn’t. A new initiative announced at Google I/O will pay for three months of continuing education for women and minorities in tech.

In conjunction with its third annual women techmakers panel, which this year focused on women working on robotics projects at Google, the tech titan said it was partnering with Code School to provide thousands of paid accounts for free. According to a blog post by the CEO of the for-profit online school for programming, Gregg Pollack, Google will pay for three months free for select women and minorities already in tech to expand their skills.

One thousand people will receive free accounts directly, while the unnumbered remainder, estimated to be in the thousands, will be given by referral. {snip}

Pollack, who noted that only a quarter of IT jobs are held by women and only 3 percent of scientists and engineers are African-Americans, said that the statistics were “sobering.”

“Together, our goal is to invest in women and minorities so they can continue developing their technical skill sets,” he said.

The free education offer is part of Google’s $50 million Made with Code initiative, said Google X vice president Megan Smith.

“We shouldn’t feel guilty about our biases, we should wake up and do something about them,” Smith said.

By Google’s own admission, its efforts to hire women and minorities have fallen far short. Women make up only 17 percent of Google’s tech employees, according to Google’s recently-published diversity report, while African-Americans and Hispanics comprised only 1 percent and 2 percent respectively of Google’s tech workers.


Putting it in a language I/O developer attendees could understand, Smith concluded that they were in the process of “debugging inclusion.”