Google celebrates women in tech for International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day and in recognition of this Google is celebrating the role women have played, and continue to play, in the world of tech. It's a well-known fact that many technology companies are dominated by men -- as is the case in many industries -- but Google is keen to highlight its own Women Techmakers program.
Set up last year, the program is designed to not only encourage women to enter the male dominated technology sector, but also to promote the visibility of those who are already in place. This month saw the (very quiet) launch of the second Women Techmakers Global Event Series, but today Google wants to speak to the female technology workers of the future.
Google itself has fared fairly well in diversity reports, but there is still a long way to go for the workplace to have a better balance of the sexes. There are undeniable obstacles standing in the way of women climbing the ladder in any industry -- discrimination, inequality, and so on -- but jobs in technology are often seen as being especially dominated by men. Even if companies have an open door policy, there can still be a perception that, as a woman, just getting on the first rung of the ladder is going to be impossible.
This is what Google trying to address today. There's a slightly awkward, patronizing tone to the blog post by Vice President of Engineering Pavni Diwanji, but the overall sentiment is to be welcomed. The idea is that women who have become established in their chosen career send a message out to girls and women who are looking to following their footsteps. The company is encouraging women to submit a video to YouTube using the hashtag #DearMe.
For many young girls, the path to finding themselves is filled with uncertainty. It’s hard to figure out what you want to do or who you want to be when you’re dealing with gossip, self-doubt and pressure from all sides. As part of our International Women’s Day celebration, we’re encouraging you to think back on the advice you wish you’d gotten when you were a young, and to share those words of wisdom with today’s teenage girls. Submit a video letter on YouTube tagged with #DearMe telling your younger self what you wish someone had told you. We’re looking forward to what you have to say.
The idea is to share words of wisdom to one's younger self, but in light of a recent sexual harassment complaint against Google, the choice of hashtag may backfire (more to follow, but #DearMe, indeed).
A number of videos have already been submitted and Google has collected some of them together in a showreel: