back to article Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

It's a job that involves long hours sitting in front of a computer, bashing characters into a computer while ignoring the happy people who are outside, frolicking in the sunshine. What hip young woman wouldn't want to be a computer programmer? With this in mind, Google has embarked upon a $50m drive to encourage women to get …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice to see we are finally getting some girls to code, clearly they are none existent at the moment in the industry as $50mil is a lot to spend on a recruitment drive...I must go and tell 1/3 of the coders in my office that they now exist.

    1. Goat Jam

      "must go and tell 1/3 of the coders in my office that they now exist."

      I would bet dollars to donuts that every one of those females is Indian. I don't say that in a disparaging way either, it's just that I have never seen a white female coder. Ever. I don't know why Indian women are apt to have a go where white women (apparently) fear to tread. Must be a cultural thing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ooh, I made silver...

    Is it too late for a sexchange? I'd do that for $50,000,000, and learn to code as well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Part of the issue is many women like to work in the public sector, often due to their beliefs or the option of flexi time.

    1. cordwainer 1

      Sadly...

      It's not that they inherently WANT to work in lower paying jobs. They're still facing an uphill climb against the good-old-boy network in a lot of higher-paying industries.

      I believe this will change, but to claim sexism is not an obstacle (including what seems to be increasing sexism coming from women themselves, depressingly) is to ignore mountains of evidence, lawsuits, and vicious media attacks on women to the contrary.

      1. xerocred

        Re: Sadly...

        @codewaine

        Girls are avoiding the subjects at school that might lead to coding or engineering jobs long before they come across the sexism in the workplace of which you speak.

        Why is that?

        In the middle east a much higher % of women take IT at uni. than in the west.

        Why is that?

        So it is a complex subject and dismissing it as sexism is plain wrong.

        I believe the vast majority of guys in the industry welcome women in the industry and behave as gentlemen.

        But as the article alludes to little is done to address the 60:40ratio of girls to boys going to university or the domination of some subjects by women.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sadly...

          "In the middle east a much higher % of women take IT at uni. than in the west.

          Why is that?"

          Have you seen how complicated the kitchen appliances get when you have all that oil money?

      2. gerryg
    2. Slap

      Coding is a flexitime job

      One day you might pull 12 hours and the next perhaps 16 - that seems pretty flexible to me.

  4. Alister Silver badge

    UK gov's Year of Code

    Ah yes, 6 months in, I haven't noticed much in the way of progress with this...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: UK gov's Year of Code

      That's what happens when you have a good idea, then get a load of people who have no idea about it to run it, whilst excluding many people who have been working to the same aim for years.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: UK gov's Year of Code

        UK gov's Year of Code drive??? More like parked in a layby eating all the cakes bought for the meetings.

    2. PhillW

      Re: UK gov's Year of Code

      Yip, look what they have achieved...... still a naff webshite, lots of 'advisors' and sod all happening anywhere.... except at their exclusive get togethers.

      Still, who needs hospitals, schools, roads fixed, social care etc etc... this is the future.

      I fully expect year of code 2 to be rolled out with a budget 10X as large.

  5. Shaha Alam

    recruiter > you there, yes you.

    candidate > who me?

    recruiter > why, yes. you. aren't you a delightful thing. Did you know you could work with computers?

    candidate > why thank you, kind sir. But aren't those the befuddling machines that only a man understands.

    recruiter > why yes. but you too can learn.

    ====================

    job done. is it can b payday nao pl0x?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Thank you, Lord Babbage!

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

    In the same way that semiconductor wafer processing is a fundamental skill that is part of everything.

    Electric cars are going to be everywhere so we all need to be lithium miners ?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

      Note to OP. Try thinking a bit more before posting.

    2. dan1980

      Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

      @Y.A.A.C - exactly.

      As time has gone on, while the ability to operate a computer is increasingly important, the ability to program is increasingly irrelevant to operating a computer.

      Being a programmer is one thing and they will always be needed, but the idea that programming skills are or will be important in day-to-day life is just absurd.

      Computer programs tend to be designed with large shiny buttons to press (increasingly by stabbing at the screen like a monkey) and with options stripped-back and hidden so that the user is not troubled by too much choice. More-and-more software forces you into a particular usage pattern and the 'app' mentality sees specialised programs that do one thing.

      Even making choices is discouraged in the use of such software.

      Or perhaps that's why coding will become so important - maybe the idea is that soon, to be able to do what you want (rather than being stuck with poking a succession of colourful buttons) you will be have to resort to coding your own programs or at the least attempting to hack existing ones to make them obey you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

        @dan 1980 I think you are mistaken. In the same way that everyday people use a spreadsheet instead of calculating the figures manually the next logical step is that everyday people can automate their own tasks and be more productive without relying on IT people to come and do this for them.

        Imagine the bottleneck if every letter you wrote had to be dictated to a 'writing dept' because no one else in the business had that skill! "Hang on a moment, I just need to hit up my scribe to write down your details." Likewise, we are currently at that stage with IT where people can do more themselves only needing assistance when things don't go to plan.

        Of course there is still a way to go to making scripting easy enough whilst remaining flexible but if people can write a shopping list, then they can write a list of tasks for a computer to do.

        1. Nick Pettefar

          Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

          "@dan 1980 I think you are mistaken. In the same way that everyday people use a spreadsheet instead of calculating the figures manually"

          I don't meet many people who use spreadsheets to calculate figures - most use them to write table-form documents. If any calculations were needed they would do them by hand. Most people haven't a flippin' clue what a spreadsheet is for!

        2. dan1980

          Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

          @AC

          So, you see modern operating systems and the current push towards an 'app'-centric style of computing as being conducive to people scripting tasks?

          Addressing spreadsheets specifically - how come ordinary people aren't using the VBA abilities of Ms Excel? Maybe you and some people you know are, but I have managed and supported thousands of users in my career and NOT ONE has ever, to my knowledge, coded VBA in a workbook.

          You kind of defeat your own argument, however, by saying that scripting needs to become easier. At that point, it's not programming of the kind that Google are encouraging girls to learn - it's trying to implement a scripting engine/language/paradigm that removes the need to 'learn coding'.

          And think of the cloud-based world so many vendors are pushing ahead with - sure some of these programs have APIs you can make use of but not many.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Coding is a fundamental skill that’s going to be a part of almost everything

            An app centric world is failing miserably on desktops/laptops because the use pattern is entirely different to a phone or tablet.

  7. Sean Kennedy

    Maybe women just don't like coding?

    I will never understand the need to chase specific classes of people for professions. Are we really so short on willing coders that we need to entice disinterested parties into the job?

    I mean, isn't the end goal here to get people who aren't that interested in doing the job INTO the job over those that ARE interested in doing it? Does that make sense to anyone?

    1. busycoder99

      Re: Maybe women just don't like coding?

      Exactly.

      Where is the drive for:

      - more male nurses?

      - more men who can get pregnant?

      - women who work construction jobs?

      - women miners?

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Maybe women just don't like coding?

        "- more male nurses?"

        As a person who did this for a while, I got sick and tired of all of the females assuming that I was gay. As if there was no possible way that a straight male would ever consider that as a career option.

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    become vets, nurses, social workers or teachers - professions which come with superb pensions

    A final annoucement just before the crash in taxpayer-financed healthcare and education occurred....

  9. Daggersedge

    Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

    Have a look at this story from Sweden:

    http://www.thelocal.se/20100112/24330

    Basically, it turned out that feminists didn't like it when men entered female-dominated fields such as veterinary medicine, dentistry, medicine, and psychology. At the same time, very few women applied to enter male-dominated fields.

    In other words, for feminists, equality is: 'What is his is mine and what is mine remains all mine'.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      Um, no. Feminists see men coming into traditional 'female' spaces, but traditional 'male' spaces are still closed to women, so now men have many more job opportunities and women have fewer. Also, men going into traditional 'women's' areas tend to rise faster and higher than women in that field, thus the many teachers', nurses' etc organisations with a man as the head/director/chair of them -- any man in a 'woman's' field is seen as better and more properly leader of them. Also seen in grocery stores, where a 25 year old bloke is manager of dozens of older women staff. But, Daggeredge (love the moniker, BTW) what you are really saying is 'feminists are illogical girlies who hate men', so perhaps I should save my breath to cool my porridge.

      1. stanimir

        Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

        "Feminists see men coming into traditional 'female' spaces, but traditional 'male' spaces are still closed to women, so now men have many more job opportunities and women have fewer.Also, men going into traditional 'women's' areas tend to rise faster and higher than women in that field"

        Citation needed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

        No part of the IT industry is closed for women, they are more than welcome but they *choose* not to do it. It might seem hard to a lot of those who get a boost in general society through flirtation wheras the industry focuses far more on merit.

      3. Nuke
        Facepalm

        @Hollerith 1 - Re: Here's what feminists do when men .....

        Wrote : - "traditional 'male' spaces are still closed to women"

        I can't think of any examples of that, and certainly don't see any evidence in my industry (heavy engineering). There are not many women because heavy engineering is an anathema to most women (try discussing it at a party), but there is no obstacle to their entry and the few that there are get spectacular promotion because the directors are terrified of being accused of precisely what you have just claimed.

      4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

        but traditional 'male' spaces are still closed to women

        Retarded bullshit is retarded, aka. "Help, help, I'm being repressed!"

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      Thanks for that link. That is awesome

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      'What is his is mine and what is mine remains all mine'.

      It sounds like my wife is a feminist

    4. Fibbles

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      That article shows everything that is wrong with affirmative action. Creating a new form of discrimination in order to mitigate the effects of a previous discrimination does nothing to help equality. You still end up with a group of people being unfairly discriminated against. All it actually achieves is the illusion of equality.

      People need to accept that after millennia of discriminating against people based on their race / sex / religion that our societies are going to take time to rebalance themselves. An average 50/50 gender balance in workplaces would be a nice thing to have, but it's unrealistic to expect in the short term. Constructing policies to force this 50/50 balance to appear more quickly than it otherwise would creates unfair discrimination and is only done so people such as politicians can congratulate each other on having 'fixed the problem'.

    5. cordwainer 1

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      You're applying a single instance to all women in general. Not all women believe men should be discriminated against. Unfortunately, the sexist women who for some reason DO grab more media attention.

      I'm female, by the way, and can tell you I've never met another woman who has a problem with men being nurses, dentists, doctors (since when are men discriminated against in medicine, by the way?), psychologists (historically a male-dominated profession, starting with Freud), or veterinarians

      In fact, except for nurses, the professions you list historically have ALL been male-dominated. I'm not sure how anyone decided those fields were traditionally female dominated, considering women had to fight to be accepted as doctors, veterinarians (especially in large-animal medicine), psychologists, and dentists, and still face opposition in many medical schools.

      But on the flip side, yes, any woman who objects to men entering them - or who believes they should be "female-dominated" fields- is obviously sexist , and I'm embarrassed by them, as are all the women I know. We believe in genuine equality, and hate male-bashers as much as we hate chauvinists. Neither are acceptable.

      To state it even more plainly: ANYONE who objects to another human being pursuing the career of his or her choice, solely because of gender, is a sexist, and therefore a bigot. That includes women, who clearly can also be sexist.

      Non-bigots don't care what gender you are. They only care how well you do the job.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

        > But on the flip side, yes, any woman who objects to men entering them ...

        Ooo err Missus.

    6. gerryg

      Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

      see also The XX Factor

  10. A K Stiles
    Terminator

    Encouragement?

    Rather than just trying to encourage women to become coders (or at least learn to code), have they considered the reasons why they don't already?

    Is it because it is seen as a very male-dominated industry, or is it because they ( a large proportion of females, oh and in fact a large proportion of the male population too) don't find it interesting, or just not suited to the way they think?

    I really enjoy problem solving, no really, and thinking very logically through a solution. It doesn't seem to be a mainstream trait, whatever your gender..

    1. Lis 0r
      Trollface

      Re: Encouragement?

      As a female coder, I'll tell you for free that the most off putting thing getting here was the people already doing it. Not only is it a complete sausage party, but it's full of libertarian, fedora-wearing douchebags. HTH, HAND, etc.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Encouragement?

        I thought everyone liked my fedora....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Encouragement?

        > but it's full of libertarian, fedora-wearing douchebags

        And exactly what's wrong with libertarianism pray tell?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Encouragement?

          > And exactly what's wrong with libertarianism pray tell?

          Apart from the "I've got mine, f**k you" mindset?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Encouragement?

            > Apart from the "I've got mine, f**k you" mindset?

            Some modern so-called libertarians have very illiberal beliefs such as anti-socialism and stronger property rights. I can't think of anything as antithetical to liberty.

            I consider myself a strong libertarian, but some of the bollocks that is spouted in the name of libertarianism is profoundly anti liberty. Those that truly believe in liberty oppose big government and over-reaching laws. That is not necessarily anti-socialist, although socialist-leaning governments do tend to get larger and authoritarian in their scope over time if there are not sufficient boundaries.

            The American ideal is profoundly libertarian. Problem is, the US has been anything but for many years and becoming less so as time goes by.

            1. Fibbles

              Re: Encouragement?

              "Some modern so-called libertarians have very illiberal beliefs such as anti-socialism and stronger property rights. I can't think of anything as antithetical to liberty."

              Cheers for the laugh. Also, John Locke would like to have a word.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Encouragement?

            > Apart from the "I've got mine, f**k you" mindset?

            As opposed to the, "You've worked hard and I haven't, but I deserve what you have" mindset.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Encouragement?

            > Apart from the "I've got mine, f**k you" mindset?

            And there was me thinking it was a "I've worked my arse off for mine. If you want it I wont put anything in your way to stop you working your arse off for it." mindset.

      3. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Encouragement?

        Hello Lis 0r, I am too short of time among the football to think of your problems but why do you speak about "libertarian, fedora-wearing douchebags" did you expect "tits and legs" to work as before. In software it's about producing acceptable code, not about how you dress or your political opinions. It's indeed a bit strange as most professions seem to have their code of how to dress. That does not apply to programmers. In the Nordic countries there are quite a few female programmers, no doubt less than 50%, but some of the best I have met are women. Anyway I would like to wish my Nordic friends

        "god midsommar".

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Encouragement?

        but it's full of libertarian, fedora-wearing douchebags

        Not wanting to lose your Keynesianistic state-sponsored pension scheme and maternity leave, dear?

        (Protip: It's too late)

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