Google Launches "Girls Who Code" Program

By CBS News

Published 06/20 2014 09:49AM

Updated 06/20 2014 09:59AM

Jobs in computer science are multiplying fast, with the Labor Department predicting more than 4-million positions by the year 2020. But so far, it's mostly a man's world. Google is launching a new campaign to end the gender gap.

16 year old Kafilah Muhammad didn't even know what computer science was - until she did a 7-week course at the "Girls Who Code" program.
"It's a new world and once you're into it, you'll love it," she says.

The idea is to steer more women into the male dominated technology industry. Just 14 percent of women now graduate college with computer science degrees, down from 40 percent back in the 1980s. Google - where 70 percent of the staff are men - has just launched a campaign to close the gender gap. It's giving away $50-million to organizations like "Girls Who Code," which sends high school girls into technology companies to learn computer science.

"There's this perception that computer science is so hard and that girls are not going to be good at it," says Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of "Girls Who Code". And they come into "Girls Who Code" and they blow everyone away. They get it and they're amazing at it."

Less than one percent of high school girls think of computer science as part of their future, even though the Labor Department says it's one of the fastest growing fields in the country 

For these girls, their new skills have set them on a professional path.
"Professionals we meet are females and who are established in their companies, who are established in the industry so from day one you realize it's not just for boys," notes Natasha Driver, 16.

All three plan to major in computer science when they head to college.

(Alexis Christoforous, CBS News)

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