Google is arguably one of the most innovative companies. Now, for their next challenge, they are taking on the issue of unequal percentages of men and women in the technology space. The company holds an annual developers conference, and in past years, the percentage of female attendees has been in the single digits. This year, they made it to the teens in percentages. While it is a measurable increase, there is still a long way to go to bridge the gender gap.
The company is tackling the issue in a number of ways, including scholarships for women and recruiting efforts.
The article that is linked below indicates that Google has been trying to reach girls at a younger age, but I believe this is where the hope lies in capturing girls' interest in the technology space. Trying to attract girls to the field once they are already in college may work in some instances, but solely ramping up recruiting efforts towards females is futile and too late in the game.
If Google truly wants to bridge the gender gap, they need to sponsor science and technology camps for young girls starting in elementary and middle school. They also need to invest in the US education system and reach students while they are still in their early years of school.
Additionally, software engineering careers need to offer the flexibility that many women are seeking in terms of work life balance. If a woman knows that options exist to have a flexible schedule while they have young children, more women may be interested in entering the field. This is seen in many other career fields, such as nursing or teaching, where girls and women know that they can have time off to be home with children, but still have a great career.
Here is a link to a CNN article that provides more detail about Google's efforts in this space.