Google uses IWD to debut $25mn grants for empowering women
Technology giant Google has launched an initiative with the aim of empowering women and girls in tech.
The will see the company commit $25mn for proposed projects that create prosperity for women. Some of the criteria for applications include being grounded in research, being feasible and involving the correct experts, being a unique innovation, and being a model for other efforts.
Jacquelline Fuller, President, Google.org, said: “We have a collective responsibility to make sure that generations of women and girls from all walks of life can live in a world where they are treated equally and reach their full potential. Over the last five years, Google.org has given more than $55 million to nonprofit organizations that support gender equity and access to opportunity for women and girls around the world. [...] This new Impact Challenge will build on that work. “
Applications close in early July, before being reviewed by a panel of experts. Every chosen organisation will be able to access between $300,000 and $2mn for their endeavours.
In , Lorraine Twohill, Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Google is on a mission to bridge the digital divide and empower women and girls through technology, in partnership with organizations like UN Women. [...] It’s exciting to go from being the only girl in my applied math class, to being on the panel of judges for this Impact Challenge, surrounded by more than 25 inspiring women.”
Despite putting its money where its mouth is over supporting women, the company has recently faced controversy over its handling of the firing of two women in its Ethics in AI division. Margaret Mitchell and Timnit Gebru, both prominent AI researchers. The latter’s removal led the company's chief executive Sundar Pichai to issue an apology over the way she left the firm, saying in an email: “We need to assess the circumstances that led up to Dr. Gebru’s departure, examining where we could have improved and led a more respectful process.”
Non-IT experts ‘to build majority of tech products by 2024’
80% of technology products and services will be built by non-technology professions by 2024, says research firm Gartner.
This is according to a new report from Gartner, which claims a new category of buyers outside the traditional IT organisation is now responsible for a growing share of the overall IT market.
“Digital business is treated as a team sport by CEOs and no longer the sole domain of the IT department,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Growth in digital data, low-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that enable the democratistion of technology development beyond IT professionals.”
COVID-19 Accelerating Technology
Technology has started expanding into all areas of business, creating demand for products and services outside IT departments. In 2023, Gartner anticipates that US$30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic. Gartner analysts said the rapid expansion of cloud services, digital business initiatives, and remote services opened the door for new possibilities in integrations and optimisation.
The research found that COVID-19 also reduced barriers for those outside of IT to create technology-based solutions by providing an entry point for anyone who was able to serve pandemic-induced needs. Gartner said technology providers are now finding themselves increasingly entering markets related to, or in competition with, nontechnology providers, including innovative firms in financial services and retail.
Gartner expects high-profile announcements of technology launches from nontech companies to proliferate over the next 12 months.
“The availability of business technologists provides new sources of innovation and the ability to get work done. Thus, technology and service providers will need to extend their sourcing of ideas and technology development into new communities, whether they are based on citizen development, their own customer communities or other sources,” said Kandaswamy