Female Google executives gathered to discuss a perennial topic: how to get more women in tech. Here's what they suggest.
A panel of top female execs from Google gathered Tuesday night to tackle a question that routinely circulates in Silicon Valley: Where are all the women in tech?
A big part of the problem, they say, is the fact that the tech industry fails to attract girls' attention at a young age. Instead, the industry reaches out to the stereotypical young, nerdy boy in glasses and braces. The one eager to sit infront of a screen alone all day.
“It’s boys will be boys. And girls will be girls,” said VP of New Business Development Megan Smith, who moderated the Women Techmakers event.
The panel highlighted the impact young immersion in the field can have for girls who are interested in tech. Statistics presented showed that in the 1980s 40% of computer science majors were women. Today, only 14% are female.
"We need to tell the story of technology, the story of what we do, to girls... not women, because it's too late then," Google's Director of Product Management Gayathri Rajan said at the event.
The numbers continue to show just how scarce women are becoming in this growing industry. According to CNET, a recent survey conducted by the Harvey Nash Group found that the number of women in prominent technology positions in the U.S. is down for the second year in a row.
Google's female execs challenged attendees to rise to the occasion... together. "Creating something out of nothing, that appeals to women," Angela Lai, VP of Payments, said.
Meanwhile, Google recently joined Twitter, eBay, and General Electric in supporting the Girls Who Code program, which aims to attract teen girls to the computer science and engineering industry.
MAEGHAN OUIMET is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone. She covers technology start-ups and innovations from the San Francisco bureau for Inc.com. @MaeghanO