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How Google is trying to close the tech gender gap

Byron Connolly | June 23, 2016
"Technology isn't just a place for people studying computer science." - Google for Work's Renee Gamble

"The unconscious biases we bring can be the way we behave with others, the way we include or exclude people subconsciously. We're pretty good with data at Google so we do track and monitor this (staff use training tools) because we think it's very important. It's part of our on-boarding program and there are ongoing refreshers," Gamble says.

Externally, Google also has a focus on encouraging K-12 students to think about careers in technology working at a curricular level globally to put the focus on computer science.

Last year, Google committed $1 million in grants to three organisations - Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, FIRST Robotics Australia, and Engineers Without Borders Australia - to reach 10,000 underrepresented students.

Personally, Gamble says some of the key challenges she has faced through her career in IT are also the same things she has found most stimulating about it.

"The [tech industry] is inherently fast paced; technology is always changing and the pressure and challenge that you are constantly under to stay ahead of that change is massive and that's what makes it exciting," she says.

These are bigger challenges than simply being a woman in IT, she says.

"Anyone who has a family or caring responsibilities or other significant priorities in their life, those are going to be a constant challenge to battle, particularly given the 'always on' culture these days.It's not easy but the reward is there, " she says.

"At the end of the week when I have balanced a lot on the home front (Gamble has two kids), and on the work front, then I can have the simple pleasures of home life and those simple things around time with my family at the end of the week. The reward is pretty rich for me."

Source: CIO Australia


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