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On International Women's Day, we're supporting new "firsts"

An image of a woman climbing a mountain with a Google search bar noting "first woman to"

Empowering women and girls has long been one of my personal missions. As the brave women who have been the “firsts” throughout history have proven time and time again, when we uplift women and girls, we uplift everyone. For me, that’s the spirit of International Women’s Day.

With 250 million fewer women online than men, Google is on a mission to bridge the digital divide and empower women and girls through technology, in partnership with organizations like UN Women. That’s why earlier today at a special Google for India Women Will event, we announced a new $25 million Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, providing funding and Googler expertise to nonprofits and social enterprises around the world creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls. 

It’s exciting to go from being the only girl in my applied math class, to being on the panel of judges for this Impact Challenge, surrounded by more than 25 inspiring women. And this year, it is just one of the ways we are honoring the pioneers of the women’s movement, while supporting the next generation of “firsts.”

Celebrating the first of many 

From the first woman astronaut to the first woman to climb Mount Everest, in the past year, the world searched for “the first woman” more than ever before. These trailblazers continue to inspire new generations, especially young women and girls who are striving to achieve their own firsts today. Google is celebrating women who have achieved historical firsts, as well as the many who have come after them. 

Our annual International Women’s Day Doodle explores the journey of the “firsts” throughout history on Google Search homepages around the world. From activists to scientists, writers and artists from around the world, this year’s Doodle imagery shows the hands that opened the doors for women of today.
A Google Doodle featuring women's hands held high, two of them holding one another, plus animations of women's hands voting, making art and working in science.

The 2021 International Women’s Day Doodle explores the “firsts” throughout history.

Supporting the next generation of "firsts"

In addition to celebrating women who have achieved historical firsts, we’re also looking for ways to support the next generation of women changemakers, business owners and leaders.

In 2020, the number of women-led identified businesses on Google grew 163% globally compared to the year before. Now, we’re making it even easier for you to find and support the women-led businesses in your community. Simply search in English for “women-led” — “women-led restaurants,” “women-led clothing stores” and more — on Google Search and Maps to quickly see women-led businesses in your area. 

An animation showing businesses labeled as " women-led" on Google Maps.

Search for “women-led restaurants” on Google Search and Maps.

We’re also providing $6 million in Ad Grants to UN Women to help raise awareness about the outsized impact COVID-19 has on women and girls, and a team of Googler volunteers is working alongside them to highlight these critical PSAs across more than 200 countries and territories. 

To support women-led businesses, cultivate women leaders in technology and help keep women and young girls safe online, we’re hosting a number of global programs: 

  • Today we kick off our month-long, global virtual International Women’s Day event series. Hosted by women tech leaders at Google, we’ll gather women in tech to participate in talks, professional development workshops, conversations about the intersection of technology and culture as well as health and wellness sessions.

  • Throughout March and April, Women Techmakers and Google Developer Groups around the world will host more than 150 events for women developers to learn about new technologies, connect with others and get inspired by keynote speakers, including Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google, and Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES. 

  • Across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, we’re hosting series of free training sessions  through our Grow with Google Women Will and #IamRemarkable leadership programs, ranging from digital tools to help women entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses online and support job seekers to identifying bias and overcoming barriers in the workplace. 

  • As one element of our commitment to UN Women’s Generation Equality Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation, Google’s Advanced Protection and Jigsaw teams will offer consultations and online safety and security workshops for UN chapters and organizations around the world that support women who are at higher-risk of online attacks including journalists, activists, politicians and executives.

Continuing to uplift the achievements of women around the world

Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with Women of the World Foundation to highlight 100 women-led initiatives that are challenging the status quo and invoking positive change for all. As part of a new photography exhibition, everyone can meet the women behind inspirational projects and initiatives in fields like health, climate change and identity. In addition, educators and students can access 10 new lesson plans covering fields of expertise where women have traditionally been overlooked, such as art, science and music.

  • A collage of photographs of women, from boxers to dancers, of various ages and ethnicities

    Highlights from the Women of the World photography exhibition. 

  • A photograph of a girl in a teal shirt holding a book and a doll, with trees and a wooden structure behind her.

     Emaan Khan is one of the youngest climate change activists in Pakistan. She believes that the climate crisis needs an urgent response and climate education is the most important step towards change. Along with her parents, she has developed a free education portal called Earth Warrior Pakistan. 

  • A photograph of a woman with gray hair and round white glasses smiling and looking to the right, with purple flowers behind her.

    Dr. Odette Best, based in Brisbane, is an academic and a historian of Aboriginal nurses and midwives. Her groundbreaking work was acknowledged with a Churchill Fellowship in 2002. 

I wouldn't be where I am today if not for the incredible women and men who have worked tirelessly to ensure all women could have a seat at the table. International Women’s Day is a time for celebration and action. I hope you’ll join us as we honor the trailblazers that have paved the way for generations of women and girls, and sign up to participate in any number of events taking place throughout the month of March.

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