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Google starts ‘Made with Code’

Here are five things to know about “Made with Code,” the program Google launched Thursday.

Q. What is “Made with Code”?

A. The Google-led initiative is an effort to get more girls involved in computer programming. A website launched Thursday features female role-model techies who write software to design cool fabrics or choreograph dances.

There are simple, fun coding lessons aimed at girls and a directory of coding programs for girls. The search giant is also offering $50 million in grants to support girls coding.

Q. Why is Google involved?

A. “Coding is a new literacy, and it gives people the potential to create, innovate and quite literally change the world, said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube and an early Google employee. “We’ve got to show all girls that computer science is an important part of their future and that it’s a foundation to pursue their passions, no matter what field they want to enter. Made with Code is a great step toward doing that.”

Q. Do girls code now?

A. Less than 1 percent of high school girls think of computer science as part of their future, even though it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. today with a projected 4.2 million jobs by 2020, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Q. Do women work in tech?

A. Tech firms are overwhelmingly male – Yahoo on Tuesday released a report showing 62 percent of its global employees are men. At Google, about 70 percent of the roughly 44,000 people it employs throughout the world are men.

Q. Who else is involved?

A. Google has a number of partners, including the nonprofit Girls Who Code, which holds summer institutes to teach girls to write computer programs, and The Clinton Foundation, whose No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project is an effort to accelerate full participation for women and girls in all aspects of society.