Google Exec Susan Wojcicki Says the Tech Industry Needs Girls
Dear Girls of the World: The tech industry needs you.
That’s how Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising and commerce at Google, begins a persuasive article over at CNN. It accompanies Girl Rising, a new documentary that tells the stories of girls across the globe and the power of education to change the world.
Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez all took part in the project, which premiered last night on CNN. Like them, Susan encourages girls and women to get involved so that we can not only be part of technology, but also define it.
Susan points out some troubling statistics in the world of tech:
Despite being a ripe career field, the tech industry is losing women. In the United States, according to one report: “young women earned 37% of computer science degrees in 1985; today, the number has plummeted to 18%. Some 22% of software engineers at tech companies are women.” It’s a deficiency we see mirrored around the world.
But for those of us who are well past the point of going to school, it’s not too late to get involved:
For girls who don’t benefit from support early on, it’s also important to remember that it’s never too late to get started. I was finishing up my senior year of college, studying history and literature, when I decided to get into tech. I wondered if it was too late to change paths, but I decided to do it anyway. Years later, I joined a new startup — Google — and I’ve never looked back. For all the girls out there who think it’s too late to get into tech, know that it’s never too late to pursue a good opportunity, even if it means taking a different path.
So, people of the world, let’s help girls rise up in the field of technology and support them with the programs they need. If you’re in technology, talk to your daughters, nieces and friends about just how cool it is to work in tech. And we can all help them find internships, encourage them in their studies and foster their creative spirits.
Getting more women in technology is important for all of us. From the lack of women and troubling rape culture in video games to Siri’s early problems finding abortion clinics (but not Viagra or escort services), technology’s male lens is detrimental to the success of all of us.
We can look to Etsy as a good example of including more women in tech positions. Let’s make sure we keep mentoring young women and demanding that other companies follow suit!