Google Puts Girl Coders in Hollywood


Tired of seeing girls on TV baffled by math and computers? Well, Google is working with Hollywood to create more roles for girls who code.

Google already has helped on two Disney-ABC Television Group programs called "Miles from Tomorrowland" and "The Fosters," to create girls who code "in a positive light," according to USA Today.

"Our research shows that for girls when it comes to focusing on a career, perceptions of that profession rank second in importance only to parental encouragement," Julie Ann Crommett, program manager for computer science education in media for Google told USA Today. Crommett took part in a panel at SXSW called "Decoding Percepciones: CS, Latinos and Storytelling."

Crommett said that most of the reason girls don't decide to be computer programmers is that they don't see girls entering the field, including in the media or on TV. "TV can have an impact. The popularity of CSI led to a big jump in people going into forensic science, and many of them were women," she said.

Google gave Disney-ABC advice about personalities, what code sequences look good on screen, and even hooked up the network with -- you guessed it -- real, live women programmers. Angela Navarro is a 23-year-old software engineer who was interviewed by ABC show runners about her background and high school life as a cheerleader and budding coder.

"I was definitely an outlier as a kid, with this interest in science thanks to my (software engineer) dad, but also loving being on the cheer team," says Navarro. "I always felt there was a general lack of representation of women and minorities on TV, let alone on the computer science front."

Increasing visibility will help educate the public about careers for women in technology, but until the tech industry stamps out a potent undercurrent of sexism, it will be difficult to keep them in tech careers.

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