Google Invests $50 Million to Encourage More Girls to Code

The search giant announces its latest initiative a few weeks after releasing a dismal diversity report.

Posted: 06/20/2014 01:00 PM EDT

Google has announced an initiative aimed at getting more girls involved in the field of computer science. The new program, Made with Code, will include a mix of coding projects, a directory of coding programs for girls, partnerships with youth organizations, $50 million in grants and more.

A website featuring female role-model tech leaders who use coding to choreograph dances or design fabrics was launched on Thursday.

"Nowadays, coding isn't just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn't just for engineers. Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there,” Susan Wojcicki, YouTube's CEO and an early Google employee, writes on the new site. "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.”

The announcement comes three weeks after Google released its first annual diversity report of its employees. According to that report, the search giant’s worldwide workforce is 70 percent male and 61 percent white. Asians constitute 30 percent, while only 3 percent and 2 percent of Google employees are Hispanic and Black, respectively.

"It’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts," said Laszlo Bock, SVP of the company’s People Operations. "Being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution.”

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