Martin and SPARK’s campaigns for more diverse Google Doodles extends far beyond a need to balance out what Google users see on the popular search website.
Their arguments hinge on the belief that if people do not see themselves reflected or recognized for accomplishments in a particular field, then they are less likely to think they can succeed in those fields. A technological leader born out of the white male-dominated Silicon Valley, Google is often referred to as a major influencer of the entire STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) industry, which adds even more significance to their approach to gender diversity.
Disparity for women of color in the tech space does not begin and end with Google Doodles. In 2012 women made up a quarter of the computing workforce, with African-American women having held just 3 percent of all tech jobs. As for leadership, women in tech make up only 5 percent of the founders and chief executive of tech start-ups, comprising 11 percent of tech investors, according to Forbes.
To level the coding field, Black Girls Code founder and electrical engineer Kimberly Bryant started organization to fill the dearth of African-American women in STEM professions, an absence that she says cannot be explained by a lack of interest, but rather a lack of access and exposure.
Additional organizations working to get more females into Silicon Valley and STEM include Girls Who Code, a nonprofit aiming to to realize gender parity for computing jobs by 2020, Girl Develop It and Ladies Learning Code.
As Martin explained in her 2012 follow-up open letter to Google, representing a wider spectrum of individuals with Google Doodles would not only benefit young girls, women and, consequently, the entire world, but the tech giant would also be a better leader for it.
“Addressing your gender diversity problem would be fun, it would be rewarding, it would bring a valuable perspective to your work and approach, and it would be the right thing to do.”