Target: Google CEO Larry Page
Goal: Praise Google for offering free coding classes to women and minorities
Google is offering thousands of women and people of color the opportunity to learn coding for free. In a field that is dominated by white men, it is refreshing to see a major technology company take concrete steps towards incorporating more voices into its future-shaping work.
Major technology companies such as Google and Apple have been subjects of criticism for their lack of diversity, and for good reason. Only 30 percent of Google’s employees are women, one percent are African-American, and two percent are Hispanic. These statistics are certainly not representative of the United States’ overall diversity, and reflect negative cultural attitudes towards woman and minorities and a significant lack of opportunities for many in these populations.
When even the former president of Harvard University believes that women are inherently worse than men at math, science, and technological fields, it goes without saying that many others adhere to the same tired, sexist belief. It can be difficult to pursue a career in a certain field while dealing with the assumption that you are inferior. The tech field also offers few role models for women and minorities, contributing to their lack of participation. In addition, many minorities may not have had access to the same technological resources while at school as often more financially privileged white students, making entry barriers for access to technology-related careers more difficult to cross.
To close this gap, Google is paying for three free months of coding classes from the Code School for women and minorities who are interested in technology. Thank Google for beginning to address the problem of underrepresentation of women and minorities in its company and the tech field in general.
Dear Mr. Page,
I want to thank you for actively seeking to level the playing field for women and minorities who are interested in careers in technology. It is difficult for the voices of underrepresented populations to be heard in major tech companies, where the future of the world is constantly being shaped and decided.
The Labor Department reports that only 20 percent of software developers in the United States are women and only 12 percent of computer science degrees go to women. It’s high time that we reverse cultural attitudes toward women and minorities in STEM-related careers. This starts with education and providing resources where a lack of privilege often denied them.
I applaud Google’s initiative to provide free coding classes to thousands of interested and qualified women and minorities who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to receive such essential training. Hopefully, with a big enough push, the voices and ideas of women and minorities will increasingly mold technology that will alter and better the lives of people around the world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nyshita talluri via Wikimedia Commons