Today is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, is all about achieving a gender-balanced world. If we’re going to achieve that, it’s important to know that boys and girls begin making pivotal decisions about their future at a very young age. But education options, career interests and gender stereotypes quickly begin to widen the gap between the ambitions of girls and their ability to pursue them. This trend often continues into adulthood (a 2018 McKinsey study indicates that women and underrepresented groups are less able or willing to promote their skills and accomplishments), setting limitations on goals and lowering the number of women who put themselves forward for leadership roles. Jobs at tech companies are growing quickly, yet for too many women a career in tech—as a computer systems engineer or a software developer, for example—is still out of reach.
That’s why we’re partnering with Inspiring Girls International to launch a video hub of filmed talks by diverse female role models as a go-to motivational resource for young girls. Inspiring Girls International is an organization that aims to raise the aspirations of young girls around the world. Inspiring Girls believes that leading by example is the best way to truly show girls what they can achieve. The video series features more than a dozen women from different backgrounds who work at Google, talking about their careers and inspirations—and crucially, giving valuable advice on how girls can pursue their dreams.
This initiative is part of Grow with Google, a program which provides free training courses, tools and in-person coaching to help people get the right skills to find a job, advance their careers or grow their businesses. So far, women make up 46 percent of the 10 million people Grow with Google has trained across Europe, the Middle East and Africa—and this number is steadily rising.
Working with Inspiring Girls, we’ve created videos addressing some of the most pressing issues young girls face today when considering their future careers. “Issues such as the pressure of labels and the lack of access to female role models affect most girls around the world,” says Founder and Chair of Inspiring Girls, Miriam González. “We’ve partnered with Google to break down gender clichés in the tech sector and empower girls to explore some of the careers that women are still under-represented in. We’re delighted to have Google supporting our global campaign. Together, we can inspire the next generation of women.”
But our goal isn’t just inspiring young women to pursue careers in tech—we also want them to succeed. #IamRemarkable is another Grow with Google initiative that aims to empower women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements and use them for career advancement. Both companies and individuals can access a 90-minute workshop, which is free and open to anyone. The workshop teaches the importance of confidence and self-promotion, providing tools to help participants start promoting their achievements. So far, the initiative has reached more than 25,000 participants across over 50 countries, resulting in 69 percent of participants pursuing a promotion within three months of attending the workshop.
Through partnerships like Inspiring Girls and the #IamRemarkable initiative, Grow with Google aims to challenge gender stereotypes and promote diversity in tech—working toward a future where women have access to the tools and training they need to pursue their ambitions with confidence.