The She Word: Jen Holland and her career expedition

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

Today we’re talking to Jen Holland, a program manager on our education team who once played a humming game on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” with Ellen and Vince Vaughn. (Before you ask, no—there’s no video.)

jen

You’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. How do you explain your job to them?

My team works on education products like Google Classroom and Expeditions (a virtual field trip app for schools) that aim to transform how teaching and learning happen in the classroom. As a program manager, I’m responsible for our product pilots in schools—where we work directly alongside teachers and students to develop our products based on what schools actually need.

I lead our efforts to bring Expeditions to schools all over the globe through the Pioneer Program, which has taken more than  2 million students in 11 countries on an Expedition. Finally, I’m responsible for all Expeditions content creation, which now spans more than 500 high-quality VR tours and 200+ teacher lesson plans. This week we added 40 more Expeditions which are all focused on women’s careers, and introduce students to what it’s like to work as an astronaut, engineer, or firefighter.

You’ve been on the Expeditions team from the beginning. What have you found most inspiring or surprising about the program?

The biggest joy I get is going into a class and seeing the magic of Expeditions take over. The students are totally engaged without even realizing it and ask incredible and inquisitive questions. The teachers can hardly believe what they are seeing and the smiles on their faces are just priceless. That’s what learning should look like every day.

The coolest part of Expeditions for me is that I had no background in VR or creating compelling VR content—let alone any experience running a global program. I spent tons of time watching YouTube videos, reading articles, going to conferences, and listening to podcasts to learn more about VR. It took a lot of trial and error, but as my dad always said to me, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

1

Guess you could call this Jen’s “Daydream” job ;)

2

A perfect fit! Jen poses in one of the cases used to hold Expeditions kits from Best Buy Education.

3

This is from an Expeditions shoot at a recycling center. Two 5th-grade girls in the Bronx were upset about the amount of trash their classmates were throwing away, and emailed Google saying they couldn’t afford to take the whole school to visit the recycling center—and could we create an Expedition instead? Jen couldn’t say no! The team created five Expeditions showing the sanitation site, recycling center, the compost place, etc. All students got to go on the Expedition—and now the whole school has implemented several new recycling programs.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I really wanted to work in “business.” My dad was a business professor and my first “investor” when I was a kid (think lemonade stands and sewing ribbon belts!). As I grew older and spent more time with my dad’s friends—like Bill Campbell, who was the chairman of Intuit and a beloved advisor to Silicon Valley companies—I became fascinated by entrepreneurship and product development.

I’m also passionate about helping college students get the skills they need to be competitive from day one. I learned so much of my important “soft skills” on the job—I wish I’d had more coaching and opportunities to learn about things like project management, budgeting, business modeling, giving and receiving peer feedback, upward communication, etc. in classes. That’s one of the reasons I love working on Expeditions—which can help students explore college campuses and learn more about other careers—and why I volunteer with students on entrepreneurship programs.

Tell us about one of your mentors who helped you get to where you are today.

My college accounting professor, Dawn Massey, was not only a fantastic teacher, but also encouraged me to pursue my crazy ideas. When I took my first accounting class in college, I was miserable. I hated accounting. But by spending so much time with her, I got better. I ended up switching my focus and moved into finance—something I’d never considered because I thought I was bad at math. Fast forward, I ended up with an MBA in Finance and accepted a role on Google’s finance team, which eventually led to my dream job—the one I have now.

My second mentor was someone I mentioned already—Bill Campbell. He was a dear friend of my dad’s, and always made time for me. I learned from him that it’s always important to make time for individuals who willing to put in the effort and succeed, whether that be through informal coffee chats, mentorships, reviewing resumes, doing mock interviews, etc. You can always make time to help someone out.

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

My husband and I love to host and have friends over for dinner parties—or really any kind of parties. I LOVE craft projects, floral arrangements, and baking and cooking. I enjoy traveling—my favorite place to visit is Maine, where my family spends every Fourth of July. And I especially love the time I spend volunteering and engaging with students. I started a program that teaches college students professional development skills to help them close the digital divide in their school’s communities, and also hit the ground running in a job or internship.

The She Word: Jen Holland and her career expedition

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

Today we’re talking to Jen Holland, a program manager on our education team who once played a humming game on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” with Ellen and Vince Vaughn. (Before you ask, no—there’s no video.)

jen

You’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. How do you explain your job to them?

My team works on education products like Google Classroom and Expeditions (a virtual field trip app for schools) that aim to transform how teaching and learning happen in the classroom. As a program manager, I’m responsible for our product pilots in schools—where we work directly alongside teachers and students to develop our products based on what schools actually need.

I lead our efforts to bring Expeditions to schools all over the globe through the Pioneer Program, which has taken more than  2 million students in 11 countries on an Expedition. Finally, I’m responsible for all Expeditions content creation, which now spans more than 500 high-quality VR tours and 200+ teacher lesson plans. This week we added 40 more Expeditions which are all focused on women’s careers, and introduce students to what it’s like to work as an astronaut, engineer, or firefighter.

You’ve been on the Expeditions team from the beginning. What have you found most inspiring or surprising about the program?

The biggest joy I get is going into a class and seeing the magic of Expeditions take over. The students are totally engaged without even realizing it and ask incredible and inquisitive questions. The teachers can hardly believe what they are seeing and the smiles on their faces are just priceless. That’s what learning should look like every day.

The coolest part of Expeditions for me is that I had no background in VR or creating compelling VR content—let alone any experience running a global program. I spent tons of time watching YouTube videos, reading articles, going to conferences, and listening to podcasts to learn more about VR. It took a lot of trial and error, but as my dad always said to me, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

1

Guess you could call this Jen’s “Daydream” job ;)

2

A perfect fit! Jen poses in one of the cases used to hold Expeditions kits from Best Buy Education.

3

This is from an Expeditions shoot at a recycling center. Two 5th-grade girls in the Bronx were upset about the amount of trash their classmates were throwing away, and emailed Google saying they couldn’t afford to take the whole school to visit the recycling center—and could we create an Expedition instead? Jen couldn’t say no! The team created five Expeditions showing the sanitation site, recycling center, the compost place, etc. All students got to go on the Expedition—and now the whole school has implemented several new recycling programs.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I really wanted to work in “business.” My dad was a business professor and my first “investor” when I was a kid (think lemonade stands and sewing ribbon belts!). As I grew older and spent more time with my dad’s friends—like Bill Campbell, who was the chairman of Intuit and a beloved advisor to Silicon Valley companies—I became fascinated by entrepreneurship and product development.

I’m also passionate about helping college students get the skills they need to be competitive from day one. I learned so much of my important “soft skills” on the job—I wish I’d had more coaching and opportunities to learn about things like project management, budgeting, business modeling, giving and receiving peer feedback, upward communication, etc. in classes. That’s one of the reasons I love working on Expeditions—which can help students explore college campuses and learn more about other careers—and why I volunteer with students on entrepreneurship programs.

Tell us about one of your mentors who helped you get to where you are today.

My college accounting professor, Dawn Massey, was not only a fantastic teacher, but also encouraged me to pursue my crazy ideas. When I took my first accounting class in college, I was miserable. I hated accounting. But by spending so much time with her, I got better. I ended up switching my focus and moved into finance—something I’d never considered because I thought I was bad at math. Fast forward, I ended up with an MBA in Finance and accepted a role on Google’s finance team, which eventually led to my dream job—the one I have now.

My second mentor was someone I mentioned already—Bill Campbell. He was a dear friend of my dad’s, and always made time for me. I learned from him that it’s always important to make time for individuals who willing to put in the effort and succeed, whether that be through informal coffee chats, mentorships, reviewing resumes, doing mock interviews, etc. You can always make time to help someone out.

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

My husband and I love to host and have friends over for dinner parties—or really any kind of parties. I LOVE craft projects, floral arrangements, and baking and cooking. I enjoy traveling—my favorite place to visit is Maine, where my family spends every Fourth of July. And I especially love the time I spend volunteering and engaging with students. I started a program that teaches college students professional development skills to help them close the digital divide in their school’s communities, and also hit the ground running in a job or internship.

Launching new programs to help Central European startups take flight

Since we opened the doors of  Campus Warsaw in 2015, we’ve worked hard to foster innovation in the startup and developer communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Campus, a place for entrepreneurs to grow and connect, has hosted more than 560 events and 9,000 members have joined the community–in fact, so many people have visited Campus (over 21,000!), that we’ll soon move to a larger building. Even before Campus’s launch, we’ve worked closely with developers in the region. Google Developers Ecosystem team supports hundreds of events each quarter and over 83,000 developers in the region have joined Google Developer Groups.

This week we’re taking another step forward in CEE for even more meaningful support of the growing startup community.

We’re excited to announce three new programs for entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, including Launchpad Start, Campus Warsaw’s Residency program and Launchpad Accelerator. Each program is tailored to address the biggest challenges surfacing startups from the region at various stages of growth, including finding the product market fit, expanding to new markets and customers, growing revenues, and, most importantly, scaling globally.

CEE Launchpad

Launchpad Start – for early-stage startups

Launchpad Start is a one-week bootcamp for early stage startups focused on critical startup topics: product strategy and business development, user experience and user interface, technology, marketing and presentation skills.

On 24th April, startups will start the first edition of the program at Campus Warsaw, when we will welcome 10 early-stage startups and more than 50 mentors to work with the teams. The program is both cost- and equity-free and is open for all CEE entrepreneurs.

With a goal of teaching first-time entrepreneurs techniques to quickly validate product-market-fit quickly and to build a company for scale, participating startups benefit from intensive 1:1 mentorship sessions with experts as well as group training sessions both to network and to address specific startups needs.  

Interested startups can apply here till 2nd of April.

Campus Residency – for startups in the growth stage

Campus Warsaw’s Residency program is a six month support program for growth-stage startups across Central and Eastern Europe. Participating teams have the opportunity to work from Campus Warsaw’s coworking space where they’ll benefit from both expertise and mentorship from Campus’s network of experts. In addition, Resident startups will be offered tailored education and trainings, and access to our international network of partners.  

The goal of the Residency program is to identify top challenges that startups must overcome to grow exponentially. The Campus Warsaw team will focus on helping selected startup significantly grow their revenue, number of customers, and international opportunities. The program is cost-free and equity-free for startups.

Interested startups from around Central and Eastern Europe should apply using this form until 11th of April. The first residency cohort will begin in June.

Launchpad Accelerator – for late-stage startups

Launchpad Accelerator is a six-month international acceleration program organized by Google Developers for startups with a proven product-market-fit looking for their next million users. Applications for the 2017 session are being accepted now, and for the first time the program is open to entrepreneurs from Europe–and specifically in CEE, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Participating startups will attend a two-week, all-expenses paid boot-camp in San Francisco which includes mentoring from engineers and product managers across more than 20 Google teams as well as access to expert mentors from around the world. The kick-off boot-camp begins 17th July, 2017

Following this session, each team will also receive 50,000 USD in equity-free support, credits for Google products, and guidance from Google experts in their home country throughout the six month period.

Startups can apply using this form through the 24th of April.

With more than one million highly-skilled developers in the CEE region– including Poland, Ukraine, Czechia and Slovakia, which together count more ICT graduates per year than the United States– we know the talent is here, and we want to support them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

We hope that those programs will help startups from Central and Eastern Europe in reaching new customers from all over the world, resulting in CEE tech brands being recognized globally.

Launching new programs to help Central European startups take flight

Since we opened the doors of  Campus Warsaw in 2015, we’ve worked hard to foster innovation in the startup and developer communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Campus, a place for entrepreneurs to grow and connect, has hosted more than 560 events and 9,000 members have joined the community–in fact, so many people have visited Campus (over 21,000!), that we’ll soon move to a larger building. Even before Campus’s launch, we’ve worked closely with developers in the region. Google Developers Ecosystem team supports hundreds of events each quarter and over 83,000 developers in the region have joined Google Developer Groups.

This week we’re taking another step forward in CEE for even more meaningful support of the growing startup community.

We’re excited to announce three new programs for entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, including Launchpad Start, Campus Warsaw’s Residency program and Launchpad Accelerator. Each program is tailored to address the biggest challenges surfacing startups from the region at various stages of growth, including finding the product market fit, expanding to new markets and customers, growing revenues, and, most importantly, scaling globally.

CEE Launchpad

Launchpad Start – for early-stage startups

Launchpad Start is a one-week bootcamp for early stage startups focused on critical startup topics: product strategy and business development, user experience and user interface, technology, marketing and presentation skills.

On 24th April, startups will start the first edition of the program at Campus Warsaw, when we will welcome 10 early-stage startups and more than 50 mentors to work with the teams. The program is both cost- and equity-free and is open for all CEE entrepreneurs.

With a goal of teaching first-time entrepreneurs techniques to quickly validate product-market-fit quickly and to build a company for scale, participating startups benefit from intensive 1:1 mentorship sessions with experts as well as group training sessions both to network and to address specific startups needs.  

Interested startups can apply here till 2nd of April.

Campus Residency – for startups in the growth stage

Campus Warsaw’s Residency program is a six month support program for growth-stage startups across Central and Eastern Europe. Participating teams have the opportunity to work from Campus Warsaw’s coworking space where they’ll benefit from both expertise and mentorship from Campus’s network of experts. In addition, Resident startups will be offered tailored education and trainings, and access to our international network of partners.  

The goal of the Residency program is to identify top challenges that startups must overcome to grow exponentially. The Campus Warsaw team will focus on helping selected startup significantly grow their revenue, number of customers, and international opportunities. The program is cost-free and equity-free for startups.

Interested startups from around Central and Eastern Europe should apply using this form until 11th of April. The first residency cohort will begin in June.

Launchpad Accelerator – for late-stage startups

Launchpad Accelerator is a six-month international acceleration program organized by Google Developers for startups with a proven product-market-fit looking for their next million users. Applications for the 2017 session are being accepted now, and for the first time the program is open to entrepreneurs from Europe–and specifically in CEE, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Participating startups will attend a two-week, all-expenses paid boot-camp in San Francisco which includes mentoring from engineers and product managers across more than 20 Google teams as well as access to expert mentors from around the world. The kick-off boot-camp begins 17th July, 2017

Following this session, each team will also receive 50,000 USD in equity-free support, credits for Google products, and guidance from Google experts in their home country throughout the six month period.

Startups can apply using this form through the 24th of April.

With more than one million highly-skilled developers in the CEE region– including Poland, Ukraine, Czechia and Slovakia, which together count more ICT graduates per year than the United States– we know the talent is here, and we want to support them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

We hope that those programs will help startups from Central and Eastern Europe in reaching new customers from all over the world, resulting in CEE tech brands being recognized globally.

Launching new programs to help Central European startups take flight

Since we opened the doors of  Campus Warsaw in 2015, we’ve worked hard to foster innovation in the startup and developer communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Campus, a place for entrepreneurs to grow and connect, has hosted more than 560 events and 9,000 members have joined the community–in fact, so many people have visited Campus (over 21,000!), that we’ll soon move to a larger building. Even before Campus’s launch, we’ve worked closely with developers in the region. Google Developers Ecosystem team supports hundreds of events each quarter and over 83,000 developers in the region have joined Google Developer Groups.

This week we’re taking another step forward in CEE for even more meaningful support of the growing startup community.

We’re excited to announce three new programs for entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, including Launchpad Start, Campus Warsaw’s Residency program and Launchpad Accelerator. Each program is tailored to address the biggest challenges surfacing startups from the region at various stages of growth, including finding the product market fit, expanding to new markets and customers, growing revenues, and, most importantly, scaling globally.

CEE Launchpad

Launchpad Start – for early-stage startups

Launchpad Start is a one-week bootcamp for early stage startups focused on critical startup topics: product strategy and business development, user experience and user interface, technology, marketing and presentation skills.

On 24th April, startups will start the first edition of the program at Campus Warsaw, when we will welcome 10 early-stage startups and more than 50 mentors to work with the teams. The program is both cost- and equity-free and is open for all CEE entrepreneurs.

With a goal of teaching first-time entrepreneurs techniques to quickly validate product-market-fit quickly and to build a company for scale, participating startups benefit from intensive 1:1 mentorship sessions with experts as well as group training sessions both to network and to address specific startups needs.  

Interested startups can apply here till 2nd of April.

Campus Residency – for startups in the growth stage

Campus Warsaw’s Residency program is a six month support program for growth-stage startups across Central and Eastern Europe. Participating teams have the opportunity to work from Campus Warsaw’s coworking space where they’ll benefit from both expertise and mentorship from Campus’s network of experts. In addition, Resident startups will be offered tailored education and trainings, and access to our international network of partners.  

The goal of the Residency program is to identify top challenges that startups must overcome to grow exponentially. The Campus Warsaw team will focus on helping selected startup significantly grow their revenue, number of customers, and international opportunities. The program is cost-free and equity-free for startups.

Interested startups from around Central and Eastern Europe should apply using this form until 11th of April. The first residency cohort will begin in June.

Launchpad Accelerator – for late-stage startups

Launchpad Accelerator is a six-month international acceleration program organized by Google Developers for startups with a proven product-market-fit looking for their next million users. Applications for the 2017 session are being accepted now, and for the first time the program is open to entrepreneurs from Europe–and specifically in CEE, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Participating startups will attend a two-week, all-expenses paid boot-camp in San Francisco which includes mentoring from engineers and product managers across more than 20 Google teams as well as access to expert mentors from around the world. The kick-off boot-camp begins 17th July, 2017

Following this session, each team will also receive 50,000 USD in equity-free support, credits for Google products, and guidance from Google experts in their home country throughout the six month period.

Startups can apply using this form through the 24th of April.

With more than one million highly-skilled developers in the CEE region– including Poland, Ukraine, Czechia and Slovakia, which together count more ICT graduates per year than the United States– we know the talent is here, and we want to support them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

We hope that those programs will help startups from Central and Eastern Europe in reaching new customers from all over the world, resulting in CEE tech brands being recognized globally.

Google Play Music Presents: City Soundtracks

Love discovering new places? Love music? Google Play Music has you covered with our first original podcast series—City Soundtracks. Hear your favorite musicians talk about important people, places, and moments in their lives, and how their hometown roots have influenced them.  

City Soundtracks Logo

In each episode, host Hrishikesh Hirway (Song ExploderWest Wing Weekly) invites musicians to take listeners on a tour of their hometown. Each episode, a blend of interesting conversation and music, is paired with a playlist curated by the featured guest, so you can discover new songs or enjoy some of the music you already love.

You can listen now on Google Play Music or wherever you enjoy your podcasts (available in the US and Canada).

Kehlani – Oakland, CA

Kehlani grew up all over the East Bay. She is only 21 years old, but already has an impressive musical career. In this episode, she shares how growing up in and around Oakland shaped her into the musician she is today.

LISTEN NOW

Big Freedia – New Orleans, LA

Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, is a musical ambassador of New Orleans. She has helped this local, underground scene turn into a national phenomenon. Join us as Big Freedia takes us on a tour of her personal musical landmarks in her favorite town.

LISTEN NOW

Spoon – Austin, TX

Spoon first formed in 1993, when Britt Daniel met Jim Eno in a recording studio in a basement at the University of Texas at Austin. Britt and Jim take us on a tour of Austin, Texas. They share stories about venues old and new, their home studio, and their motel hideaway for writing music.

LISTEN NOW

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

NASA women

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

YouTUbe Kids playlist

YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

GDIQ
The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 Women@Google employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, VP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a panel on diversity and inclusion. And of course, we’re also supporting Googlers who choose to participate in other grassroots efforts marking International Women’s Day.

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Google Play Music Presents: City Soundtracks

Love discovering new places? Love music? Google Play Music has you covered with our first original podcast series—City Soundtracks. Hear your favorite musicians talk about important people, places, and moments in their lives, and how their hometown roots have influenced them.  

City Soundtracks Logo

In each episode, host Hrishikesh Hirway (Song ExploderWest Wing Weekly) invites musicians to take listeners on a tour of their hometown. Each episode, a blend of interesting conversation and music, is paired with a playlist curated by the featured guest, so you can discover new songs or enjoy some of the music you already love.

You can listen now on Google Play Music or wherever you enjoy your podcasts (available in the US and Canada).

Kehlani – Oakland, CA

Kehlani grew up all over the East Bay. She is only 21 years old, but already has an impressive musical career. In this episode, she shares how growing up in and around Oakland shaped her into the musician she is today.

LISTEN NOW

Big Freedia – New Orleans, LA

Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, is a musical ambassador of New Orleans. She has helped this local, underground scene turn into a national phenomenon. Join us as Big Freedia takes us on a tour of her personal musical landmarks in her favorite town.

LISTEN NOW

Spoon – Austin, TX

Spoon first formed in 1993, when Britt Daniel met Jim Eno in a recording studio in a basement at the University of Texas at Austin. Britt and Jim take us on a tour of Austin, Texas. They share stories about venues old and new, their home studio, and their motel hideaway for writing music.

LISTEN NOW

Who run the world? How we’re celebrating International Women’s Day

Lee Tai-Young was Korea’s first female lawyer and first female judge. Cecilia Grierson was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina. And Ida B. Wells was a newspaper editor by age 25 and one of the founders of the NAACP. These are a few of the remarkable women you’ll meet in today’s Doodle celebrating International Women’s Day, one of several ways we’re raising awareness about the contributions of women, past and present, throughout Women’s History Month. We’re also supporting efforts to close the gender gap in tech and other fields. Read on for a look at what we’re doing to recognize women across media, culture, leadership and more this month.

Celebrating historical heroines

In today’s interactive slideshow Doodle, a young girl goes on an imaginary journey to meet 13 female trailblazers from throughout history. From a pilot in Egypt to a dancer in India, these women may not all be household names, but they’ve all made a unique mark on the world. In fact, all of them have been celebrated in a Doodle in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. Today, we’re sharing their stories worldwide.

IWD doodle

After your journey, learn more about all of the women in the Doodle in a new Spotlight Story from Google Arts & Culture. See the São Paulo Museum of Art, designed by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, or the Phoenician alphabet tablet with which Halet Cambel deciphered Hittite hieroglyphics. You can also find more exhibits on notable women from throughout history on our Women in Culture page. You might just meet a new heroine!

A day in the life of women astronauts, pilots and engineers with VR

Today’s Doodle introduces you to notable women of the past, but what about the women of today and tomorrow? With Expeditions, more than 2 million students have gone on 500+ virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu and the International Space Station using Google Cardboard. Today we’re adding 40 new Expeditions to this collection, all focused on on the careers, adventures, and contributions of women.

IWD_NASAWomen(3).jpg

The new Expeditions highlight everyone from astronauts, airplane pilots, engineers and photographers to the female firefighters of the FDNY. They open a window into a typical day on the job—whether in a recording studio or a cockpit, explain the person’s backstory and reveal how she got to where she is today. Some also offer advice to students interested in pursuing a similar career. Download the app on iOS and Android to get started.

Recognizing inspirational women on YouTube

Rosie Rios, an inspiring woman in her own right as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, led the efforts to put a woman on U.S. currency. That meant learning more about the hundreds of American women who made great contributions to the history of this country. Now she’s created a special playlist for YouTube Kids called “Super Women of Our Past” that introduces young people to some of these women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Harriet Tubman to Grace Hopper.  Watch with the YouTube Kids app. You can also find other, related playlists, like “Celebrate Women’s History Month” and “Celebrate International Women’s Day.”

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YouTube is also working to turn up the volume on inspirational women’s voices through the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice campaign. We hope you’ll join by sharing a video of a woman whose voice speaks to you.

Her Voice is My Voice

Tracking screen time

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The Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ) tool uses machine learning to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.

Media can play a huge part in empowering women to discover new careers, but often the characters we see on screen aren’t very diverse. Recently, our machine learning team worked with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a new tool that uses machine learning to measure how often we see and hear women on screen. We then put the software to work, analyzing the 100 highest-grossing live-action films from the past three years. The tool revealed that men are seen and heard nearly twice as often as women. In Academy Award-winning films, women make up just 32 percent of screen time and 27 percent of speaking time. In a world where girls are only half as likely as boys to have CS role models, representation matters. Over time, we hope this project can help raise awareness of the “missing women” in media, encourage filmmakers to include a broader range of characters, and introduce young people to more diverse role models.

Coming together in the community

We’re also participating in or hosting dozens of events supporting women at Google and in tech. Last weekend we held the first of many Women Techmakers summits, which offer hands-on coding workshops on TensorFlow, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers. Women Techmakers is also sponsoring more than 140 community meetups for women in tech worldwide. Many of our 120 Women@Google employee resource group chapters are hosting events—from career development workshops to civic action weeks—in cities around the world. And at our Cloud Next event headed by Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, we’ll feature women leaders from Google and partners in a panel on diversity and inclusion. And of course, we’re also supporting Googlers who choose to participate in other grassroots efforts marking International Women’s Day.

The She Word: spotlighting women Googlers

There are thousands of powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. This month, you can get to know some of them right here on the Keyword and our Instagram account, starting with Alexandrina Garcia-verdin, whose personal hero is Frida Kahlo, and Tea Uglow, who loves coffee (but not tea).

These are just a few of the women who inspire us. We hope you’ll share some of your own. Whether it’s empowering female voices as part of #HerVoiceIsMyVoice, or telling your personal story with #TodayIAm, we’re excited to hear it.

Google Play Music Presents: City Soundtracks

Love discovering new places? Love music? Google Play Music has you covered with our first original podcast series—City Soundtracks. Hear your favorite musicians talk about important people, places, and moments in their lives, and how their hometown roots have influenced them.  

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In each episode, host Hrishikesh Hirway (Song ExploderWest Wing Weekly) invites musicians to take listeners on a tour of their hometown. Each episode, a blend of interesting conversation and music, is paired with a playlist curated by the featured guest, so you can discover new songs or enjoy some of the music you already love.

You can listen now on Google Play Music or wherever you enjoy your podcasts (available in the US and Canada).

Kehlani – Oakland, CA

Kehlani grew up all over the East Bay. She is only 21 years old, but already has an impressive musical career. In this episode, she shares how growing up in and around Oakland shaped her into the musician she is today.

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Big Freedia – New Orleans, LA

Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, is a musical ambassador of New Orleans. She has helped this local, underground scene turn into a national phenomenon. Join us as Big Freedia takes us on a tour of her personal musical landmarks in her favorite town.

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Spoon – Austin, TX

Spoon first formed in 1993, when Britt Daniel met Jim Eno in a recording studio in a basement at the University of Texas at Austin. Britt and Jim take us on a tour of Austin, Texas. They share stories about venues old and new, their home studio, and their motel hideaway for writing music.

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