Thursday, March 24, 2016

Director of Google.org on challenges of unconscious bias - OPEN SOURCE

by Nicole C. Engard
Originally published: March 21, 2016
Publisher: OpenSource.com 

This year at SxSW, I kicked things off by attending a great talk with the director of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller. She had a conversation with Hugh Forrest, and started by letting us know that to her Austin feels like a "Googley" city where everyone is very friendly.

Their conversation focused on a topic that is near and dear to the open source community: diversity in tech. Google's workplace is 70% male, so hiring more women and minorities interested in technology is a big issue for them. They know that they will create better products if they have a more diverse team. And, Jacquelline says we're seeing that companies founded by women are not getting the same results to support their businesses when pitching to venture capitalists. Men are 18% more likely to get funding with the same exact pitch as a woman. 

Also, in the field of computer science we're losing women, either from the beginning when women choose a major in college or somewhere along the way because they don't feel supported in their career. We can all do something to help. One thing is to focus on teaching tools and projects that focus on finding solutions to real world problems, instead of role playing games. (Personally, I have started a chapter of ChickTech in Austin!)

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