Google would like to show that it’s taking the issue of diversity seriously.
Speaking at a coding competition, CEO Sundar Pichai addressed teams of adolescent women, telling them that there “is a place for you at Google.”
“To the women who dream about being an engineer or an entrepreneur, and who dream of producing amazing things: ” I would like you to know that there’s a place for you in this industry,” said Pichai.
“There is a place for you at Google. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You belong here and we need you.”
His announcement comes just days after an “anti-diversity manifesto” that a 10-page document where a former Google software engineer declared that the company’s gender gap was due to “biological differences” between people went viral.
The writer of the memo, James Damore, has since been fired.
Pichai was speaking at the 2017 Technovation Challenge, an international coding competition which saw 11,000 female coders out of 103 nations gather to create an program that solves a “real-world challenge.”
The age of the participants ranged from 10 to 18.
Four women from Kazakhstan, who made a safety monitoring app for women called QamCare, walked away with the grand prize for the senior division.
“To women around the world who participated in the Challenge…we believe you need to be encouraged and empowered…” said Maggie Johnson, Vice President for Education and University Programs at Google.
“We will never stop working to create an industry and environment where women feel welcome and can thrive.”
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