Google Takes First Steps Toward Closing Silicon Valley's Gender & Racial Gaps

After displaying disappointment in the lack of diversity among its workforce, Google has launched a number of initiatives to help women and minorities become qualified for jobs in the tech sector.

What's the Latest?

Diversity was a hot topic in the tech world in June, as companies such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo opened up about their disappointing diversity numbers. Google noted that women only make up 30% of its workforce. A paltry 3% of the company's tech workers are African-American or Latino. In a rare act of corporate humility, the internet giant admonished itself for not doing enough to promote diversity in the workplace and within the industry as a whole. Since talk is cheap, Google has introduced a number of new initiatives designed to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in the tech sector. 

What's the Big Idea?

Yesterday, Google announced that it would pay for thousands of women and minorities to learn code. An online application (linked below) states the following:

As a part of Google's commitment to diversity we'll be accepting applications from interested women and minorities from anywhere in the world. This opportunity is available to all traditionally underrepresented groups in technology (including, but not limited to, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, women and veterans).

According to Business Insider, accepted applicants will receive vouchers good for three free months of code training.

Also recently introduced by the company is an initiative called Made With Code aimed at inspiring and engaging girls while fostering an interest in the creative aspects of coding. The Made With Code website features spotlights on women who code and allows visitors to participate in several fun coding projects.

Google has shown it wants to walk the walk in promoting diversity and closing social gaps. That its decision to discuss its own diversity woes led to other tech companies doing the same speaks to Google's status as a trendsetter and its ability to actively bring about social change.

Are you a woman or minority interested in learning to code? Here's Google's voucher application.

Read more at Business Insider

Photo credit:  Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Keep reading Show less

Why modern men are losing their testosterone

Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?

Flickr user Tom Simpson
Sex & Relationships
  • Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
  • While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
  • The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less