According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), less than 1 percent of high school girls in the US see computer science as part of their future. Google is seeking to increase this figure with a scheme aimed at inspiring girls to code. Made With Code includes coding projects, resources and support.
"Coding is a new literacy and it gives people the potential to create, innovate and quite literally change the world," says CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki in a press release. "We’ve got to show all girls that computer science is an important part of their future, and that it’s a foundation to pursue their passions, no matter what field they want to enter."
In order to do this, Google has partnered with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen and TechCrunch, amongst others. It hopes to encourage more women and girls to take up coding by showing that "things you love are made with code." It has also pledged to spend US$50 million over the next three years to support programs aimed at helping to get more women into computer science roles.
Some of those funds will go to rewarding teachers who support girls taking computer science courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy. Google also says it is working with the Science and Entertainment Exchange to see that more female engineer characters are depicted in TV and film.
For women and girls looking to benefit from the initiative, opportunities include projects teaching Blockly-based coding, how to create animated GIFs or music track production. Video profiles of women already in the industry are being used to demonstrate the possibilities that coding offers and a directory of local events, camps, classes and clubs has been launched.
Made With Code began with an event in New York City last week. You can find out more about the initiative at the Made With Code website.
The video below provides an introduction to Made With Code.