(Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr)
According to an article on CNET, Google is partnering with Code School to provide thousands of paid accounts for free, on a limited basis and to select female and minority employees.
If you work in the tech industry, it’s not news that women are underrepresented in most fields in the industry. For example, only one-quarter of IT jobs are held by women. At Google, only 31 percent of employees worldwide are women and an embarrassingly small percentage of jobs are held by African-American or Hispanic employees.
Google wants to change that by helping women and minorities develop their technical skills. They are offering free education as part of their $50 million “Made With Code” initiative. The company plans to give 1,000 people direct access to the online classes via Code School immediately, while others can get signed up by referrals in the future.
It remains to be seen if the initiative will be enough to up the numbers significantly. Each selected woman and/or minority person must already be working for Google in a tech field and gets only three months in the program.
It bodes well, however, that of the attendees at the women techmakers' panel this year, where the “Made With Code” initiative was announced,1,000 were women, up from 300 out of 6,000 attendees in 2012. The speakers at the techmakers' panel included Yoky Matsuoka, vice president of technology for Nest, Gabriella Levine, a hardware engineer for Google X, and Jaime Waydo, a Google X systems engineer. All had a background in robotics.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think Google is doing enough to help increase the skills of women and minorities? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.