Open Letter to Google Doodles

(This open letter was the first post on the Speaking Up For Us blog. Click here to see the second open letter, posted in June 2012.)

To Google leadership and the Google Doodle team,

As a woman in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career, I have great respect for technological innovation and for the work Google does in the world. That is why it is so disappointing to me that you have not taken the opportunity to use your world stage to highlight women’s contributions to creativity and innovation. Women, and other minority groups, are underrepresented in these fields and this is an issue I would expect you to be committed to fighting and changing. I would certainly expect Google to be aware of this underrepresentation and of the large body of research into why this problem persists and how it can be addressed.

Google Doodles highlight role models in science, technology, the arts, and the humanities, but a quick look will show you that the people you have chosen to honor do not represent the full spectrum of humanity. In particular, you have work to do to make Google Doodles equitable in their representation of women and people of color. As I am sure you must be aware, part of the large body of research to which I have referred focuses on the lack of role models for women and minorities interested in pursuing STEM careers. It is unfathomable to me that Google Doodles have not taken the opportunity to share a diverse set of role models with the diverse group of children it hopes to someday employ.

After pursuing a PhD in astrophysics from Cornell University, I now work in STEM education, because I am committed to increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups in these fields. I work with many amazing, talented women and men who are equally committed to equity and who take action to back up these principles. We are aware of and contributing to the research and innovation that you need to think about if you want to address these concerns. If you would be willing to take the chance to listen to us and to allow us to share our expertise on this critical problem facing our world, we could make a huge difference together.

For years, I have watched Google Doodles contribute to the viewpoint that it is men who create the world we live in and innovate to improve it. I continued to hope that Google would recognize and address this obvious bias. Because you have not spoken up for the women in STEM, creativity, innovation, the arts, and the humanities, I am speaking up for us.

– Ann Martin, PhD
Gmail: amartin10
Twitter: @Annie314159

15 thoughts on “Open Letter to Google Doodles

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