Google Announces $25 Million in Grants to Empower Women and Girls

By McKenzie Carpenter Monday, March 8, 2021

As more and more women enter the workforce, companies are placing a particular focus on empowering young women and girls to follow their dreams, which may go against traditional gender norms. Google, the giant tech and search engine company, announced Monday that the tech business would be committing $25 million in grants to help women and girls facing challenges achieving their future goals due to their gender.

Google headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The New Program From Google

The tech business announced in a blog post on Monday the new Impact Challenge created by the company will commit $25 million to empowering women and girls. At a virtual event, Sundar Pichai, chief executive at the tech business, stated the new initiative from the tech business is “aimed at addressing systemic barriers and inequities so that women have access to economic equality, opportunity to build financial independence and pursue entrepreneurism.”

Jacqueline Fuller, president of the charitable wing at the tech company, said, “Women and men remain on unequal footing -- and these inequalities have worsened in the wake of COVID-19.” The Impact Challenge was created by the tech business in partnerships with Vital Voices and The Global Goals.

In addition to this new Impact Challenge, the tech company is also investing $1 million to help underserved rural women in India increase their Internet literacy and enable entrepreneurship through a new program developed by the company Women Will in partnership with Nasscom Foundation.

Google’s announcement of the Impact Challenge marks the conclusion of Internet Saathi, a program dedicated to increasing digital literacy and overcoming digital gender divides for rural women in India. In partnership with Tata Trusts, the tech company was able to help over 30 million women across India.

The project announcements from Google are timely as Monday marks International Women’s Day. Speaking of the new company program, Pichai said, “Women are almost twice as likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic and an estimated 20 million girls are at risk of not returning to school. We have the opportunity to build a future that is more equal and more inclusive - and we must take it.”

The deadline to apply for the Google Impact Challenge grants is April 9, 2021. Grant recipients could receive between $300,000 to $2 million in funding and other support from the tech business. Google will announce grant recipients at the end of 2021.

About the Gender Gap

The tech business tackling gender inequalities is not an easy task as women have been fighting for equal rights for centuries. In 2018, it was reported that white women make $0.79 to the dollar as men. The pay inequalities for minorities are even greater as black, Hispanic or Latino, and American Indian or Alaskan Native women make significantly less than white women and men.

In addition to pay inequalities, women lost more than 5.4 million jobs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accounted for 55% of overall net job loss since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, women account for only 25% of computing roles in the tech industry. This new initiative from Google is a step toward correcting this imbalance.

About the Author

Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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