Google Is Offering Grants For Women To Attend Tech Conferences

Is this an attempt to confront the issue of under-representation of women in the tech industry?

Google in Europe has announced a scholarship program to send tech-minded women to industry and academic conferences. The grants include free registration (which can be hundreds of dollars at some conferences) plus up to 1,000 Euros for travel. The list of approved conferences is going to be continually updated and includes the O'Reilly event Velocity as well as Flossie, which focuses on women and open-source.

The representation and treatment of women at tech conferences has been a recurring sore spot in the industry. The spectacle of miles-long lines for the men's bathroom at these XY-dominated gatherings has been the subject of photo essays. Earlier this year a developer evangelist named Adria Richards was fired after tweeting that the men seated behind her at a PyCon keynote were making sexist jokes, touching off an intense debate about the "brogrammer" culture in Silicon Valley.

Google's notice doesn't address any of this directly, calling the scholarship program "part of Google's ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology."

[Image: Flickr user4nitsirk]

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