Google Inc (GOOG) is spending $50 million to teach girls how to code

Posted Jun 22, 2014

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is spending $50 million to invest in a program called Made with Code. Made with Code has a goal of bringing more women into the technology industry.

Google wants to help close the gender gap. Google made the announcement through an announcement that featured former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and actress Mindy Kaling. Kaling said that she had a ton of ideas for apps, but had no idea how to make them work. Her ideas include an app called “What’s his deal?” where you could take a picture of a guy and see whether he is single/married/or a weirdo. Another idea she had was a Shazam-like app for perfume.

“People my age have a million ideas for apps,” said Kaling. “But we have no idea how to build them. Last week in the movies, I didn’t even know how to turn off the flashlight on my phone.”

Google released a report earlier this month that reported only 17% of its tech workers are women.

Only 12% of today’s computer science degrees go to women. Google wants to increase these numbers so it launched the Made for Code website, which is supposed to encourage young girls in middle and high school to learn how to code. The company will be funding the initiative with key partners like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls, Inc. for around $50 million over the next three years.

Kaling admitted that she never wrote any code. But she said that she managed to find success in the all-boys world of Hollywood.

“Hollywood wasn’t exactly begging for a show about a chubby gynecologist, who was unlucky in love,” said Kaling in reference to The Mindy Project. “But that’s what they got.”

She said that the same way she made her mark in entertainment, young girls can do the same thing in technology.

Made for Code will give girls encouragement by giving them role models to follow and ideas for how computer coding fits into activities and interests. The website has profiles of several female entrepreneurs, engineers, and artists who have used knowledge of coding to pursue passions in fashion, dance, animation, cancer research, etc.

The website also includes Google’s Blockly code tutorial software. The software shows how to create animated GIFs or how to build beats for music.