Searching for diverse group of Googlers

UOW’s brightest and best computer science students learned of the opportunities to become “Googlers” when the tech giant visited campus recently.

Google visit

Representatives from Google hosted two sessions aimed at showcasing the scholarship, internship and other placement opportunities for undergraduate students.

They also heard from Google employees, including UOW bachelor of telecommunications engineering graduate and now Google Maps product manager Nabil Naghdy (pictured above), about their jobs and experiences as well as from current students who are Google ambassadors.

More than 2500 students enrolled to study ICT degrees at UOW in 2014.

Google started their campus visit with a diversity morning tea as part of their efforts to recruit people from underrepresented groups including women, indigenous and registered disability students.

Women account for fewer than one in five domestic students enrolled in ICT degrees in Australian institutions and make up a similarly low proportion of the ICT workforce.

Monique Fellix

Second year Bachelor of Information Technology student Monique Felix (pictured above) said diversity in the technology sector was important and women brought different perspectives that shaped and influenced the disciplines.

“My advice to girls wanting to study information technology is to not be afraid and not to let others deter you,” she said. “The industry isn’t the way it used to be and more women are getting involved. It’s an ever changing industry and each day there is always something new and interesting.”

Stephanie Borgman, Google technical staffing programs manager said the company recognised that diversity was an important part of product development and the culture within the company.

“It’s important to have focus on the users of our products who are from all different backgrounds and orientations,” she said. From a design point of view, to have great products you need to have employees that are as diverse as the people using them.

“When you put a diverse team together they approach problems from different perspectives and this ultimately leads to better solutions.”

Google visit 2

Ms Borgman (pictured above) said the industry needed to tackle myths about computer science to attract more females.

“Some of those myths about computer science include the view that it’s just someone sitting alone in a dark room writing code when it’s really about working in teams and solving big problems,” she said.

“It’s not easy but we need to be encouraging underrepresented groups, like women, into tech careers. At high school and even earlier is the time to show them there are great opportunities and they can do cool things that matter.”

Google Australia offers female undergraduate students the Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship to support women in technology, in memory of a person who dedicated her life to ensuring technology would have a positive impact on the world.

Summer Trainee Engineering Program positions are open to first or second year students currently enrolled ICT degrees and majoring or intending to major in Computer Science or Electrical and Computer Engineering.