Guide: Evaluate subtle messages

Change the expectations

There is a big push worldwide to get more students to pursue an education in computer science (CS), particularly girls and minorities, who have historically been underrepresented in the tech industry. Today, women make up just 18% of computer science degrees, down from 37% twenty years ago. To understand why, Google commissioned a study to identify the primary drivers that motivate young women to pursue computer science.

Based on Google's research, one of the reasons girls and underrepresented minorities are not pursuing CS is because of the negative perception of computer scientists and the relevance of the field beyond coding. Dispelling stereotypes and showcasing positive portrayals of underrepresented minorities in tech, can help make CS more appealing to a wider audience.

Following this research, Google is crafting strategies to change perception of CS and make it more accessible to all students. Google has been working with Hollywood studios and writers to help create positive CS storylines and diverse CS role models into content - using unbiasing strategies when making creative and business decisions. In 2015 Google teamed up with ABC Family and the creators of The Fosters to help create a storyline about the Latina teenaged daughter, Mariana, learning to code.

Unconscious biases are formed not only by personal experiences, but are also heavily influenced by images and representations in media. For Google, it’s critical to encourage more diversity in technology, both from a business and a moral perspective.

Explore more in Unbiasing.

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