Although the digital sector is growing rapidly, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every year - as the European Commission states - the share of women in the sector is decreasing. There is no simple solution to this challenge, but we know that equipping women with the skills needed to access new opportunities will help women be at less risk of disruption as the labour market changes (90% of jobs will require digital skills after 2020). That is why we created Grow with Google in 2015.
In addition, the World Economic Forum published research this year that found women hold 57% of the jobs that will be disrupted by digitisation and artificial intelligence. More worryingly, research from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) shows that women - as well as being more at risk of disruption - have lower levels of technical and digital skills, and feel less confident about their digital skills. There is no simple solution to this challenge, but we know that equipping women with the skills needed to access new opportunities will help women be at less risk of disruption as the labour market changes (90% of jobs will require digital skills after 2020).
That is why we created Grow with Google in 2015. Grow with Google is an initiative that aims to help everyone across Europe, the Middle East and Africa - regardless of their gender, age, background, religion - to succeed in digital. One of the central objectives of Grow with Google is the empowerment of women through increased access to digital skills education and training to enable personal development and economic growth. Google cares deeply about improving workforce representation, and creating an inclusive and diverse ecosystem, as we believe that diversity is key to innovation and company success.
There are 5 key programmes within the Grow with Google initiative that contribute directly to our objective of empowering women - each using a different approach to help women and girls acquire the right digital skills:
- WomenWill addresses the digital skills gap by focusing on those areas where women need more support to grow their skills:
- Digital literacy for those women who are offline and do not understand how the Internet works;
- Entrepreneurship for those women who want to start their own business but do not have the means;
- Inclusive workplace for working mothers and women employees who seek to build their digital skills;
- Leadership for those women who aspire to executive positions, and are looking to build their profile.
- #IamRemakable. Delivered as a 90 minute workshop, this programme aims to improve women’s self-promotion motivation and skills, by breaking gender-related modesty norms and exploring how to change social perceptions about women’s self-promotion. In 2018, 72% of participants felt more comfortable speaking up about their accomplishments in front of peers and management, and 69% started to pursue a promotion within 3 months after the workshop.
- Computer Science Education for girls. Today, girls make up just 18% of computer science degrees, down from 37% thirty years ago. The programme focus is on inspiring and teaching girls computer science through programmes ran by volunteers from Google. In the last 2 years, our Computer Science Education for Girls programme has collaborated with organisations such as Prologin in France, launching a course called “Girls Can Code!”, where girls can learn programming and participate in coding activities. We also collaborated with CS Sparks, and the “I Wish” Conference in Ireland, through which we motivate young female students to pursue careers in Computer Science.
- Campus for Mums is a baby-friendly startup school aimed at helping mothers start their own business during their maternity leave, and make it compatible with their family life. Google provides and facilitates spaces (Google Campuses) for women entrepreneurs to learn and connect across the globe, offering dedicated mentorship and funding.
- Digitalizadas is a partnership in cooperation with a Spanish NGO, which offers face-to-face training in basic digital skills for women in rural areas across Spain. The programme was developed in partnership with the Fundacion Mujeres (Women Foundation) and the Cybervolunteers foundation.
Together, these five “Grow with Google” programmes empower women with the skills and tools required for sustainable employment and careers in the digital and AI industries, giving them the confidence to pursue the careers they want. We support female talent growth and create opportunities for meaningful career progression, and through our efforts, we aspire to be a role model and encourage other leaders in the industry to foster more inclusive environments in their organisations.
- WHAT IS UNIQUE
Our in-person training in hundreds of cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa is specifically tailored to the needs of women audiences, and to the economic and societal needs of the country or city. We believe this is central to the success of our programmes within our initiative.
Bespoke one-to-one mentoring and in-depth workshops ensure that while we drive huge scale through our online platforms, we also bring unique, tailored support directly to those women who need it most. We also offer training for women in those vital soft skills required to succeed in digital - self-promotion, leadership and communication. No other private sector company offers such a bespoke approach at this scale and depth.
- IMPACT AND MEASUREMENT
Since 2016, we have trained 2 million women through our initiative in all 28 European member states, offering online and offline training through the five programmes targeted specifically at women. In addition, we have inspired and encouraged more girls to choose STEM careers by training 200 000 girls in Computer Science Education across Europe.
Beyond the numbers, what matters to us most are some of the real cases of women that have been impacted through “Grow with Google”. Here are some examples:
Laurence Fontinoy, CEO and Co-Founder, WOOM [Campus for Mums, Madrid]
“Campus has been our key success factor launching WOOM. Most of our funding came from Campus contacts and most importantly, Campus inspired us to think big and globally. The community is a source of inspiration, it makes you feel part of it and not alone in this journey.”
Laurence Fontinoy and Celia Morales left their corporate jobs in 2015 and joined forces to start WOOM, a data driven company that helps women maximize fertility. During WOOM’s first months, they worked from Campus Madrid's Cafe and soon they were actively involved with the Campus community. In 2017, they were one of seven startups selected for the first edition of Campus Residency, where (in just 6 months) they managed to increase their registered user base by 88% and grow their team by 60%.
Janet Lawrence, Experian HR Director [#IamRemarkable, EU-Wide]
“The #IamRemarkable workshop made a big impact on our employees and our Women’s Leadership group. After our initial workshop led by Google, word quickly spread and the program continues to gain interest around Experian. We’ve continued to scale this program across the company, including running workshops in offices in Brazil and Malaysia.”
Janet was introduced to #IamRemarkable by one of our Google facilitators who came to deliver the workshop for them in the company. Since then, Janet has run the workshop for over 400 employees in Experian who have improved their self-promotion skills and motivation.
Sophie Charlotte, student [Computer Science Education for girls, Germany]
“It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl, what matters is what you want to achieve and what you are willing to do to get there.”
Sophie never thought she would be able to program a robot. Sophie Charlotte discovered Open Roberta, an online platform developed by German research institution Fraunhofer IAIS that helps people learn to program by explaining complex concepts in simple ways. Open Roberta is supported by us, which trains people and businesses on important digital skills so that they can embrace new opportunities ahead. Sophie Charlotte now uses Open Roberta to teach female students about robotics, hoping to inspire them to follow a career path in programming.
There is more work to be done. Our goal is to boost women’s digital skills even further by helping 500,000 women across EU countries get the right skills to find a job or grow their business by 2020. This is part of our pledge to the EC Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to help 1 million people in Europe find a job or grow their business by 2020. We have engaged IPSOS to run an EU-wide Impact Study to measure this pledge, assess the effectiveness of our training and ultimately identify the true impact of our programs on women and girls.
- KEY SUSTAINABILITY FACTORS
We continuously update our learning content to ensure that we are moving in line with the pace of change, with a particular emphasis on including skills needed for the future such as soft skills, computational thinking and machine learning, to ensure the sustainability of our programmes and that our training remains relevant and useful to women.