P&G CIO Says He Wants to Hire More Women Coders

Date : 07/10/2019 @ 9:45PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Procter and Gamble Co (PG)
Quote : 119.26  -0.98 (-0.82%) @ 8:50PM

P&G CIO Says He Wants to Hire More Women Coders

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By Sara Castellanos 

Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that educates young women in computer science, has added a chief information officer to its board for the first time.

Javier Polit, the CIO of Procter & Gamble Co., joined the board last month. He plans to help the organization boost the number of summer coding programs it runs to more than 100 from about 80.

He also wants to ensure the young women in the program are using the most up-to-date tech tools and learning the right skills related to information technology, cybersecurity and data analytics.

"We want to make certain we are exposing them to industry-leading IT tools to make them competitive," Mr. Polit said. He plans to stay on the board for at least three years.

Girls Who Code trains girls of various ages, from elementary school to high school, in the U.S. and Canada.

The organization, which was founded in 2012, will have trained 185,000 girls to code by the end of this year. About 30,000 of its alumnae are now in college.

The nonprofit is focused on ensuring that the pipeline of girls it has trained are making it into technology jobs, said Deborah Singer, its chief marketing officer. "CIOs are uniquely positioned to help us understand their workplaces," she said.

Girls Who Code has 13 board members, seven of them women, from companies including Accenture PLC and AT&T Inc.

Mr. Javier said he wanted to get involved in the organization after witnessing gender disparity within IT.

"As a CIO, I definitely feel that I have a significant accountability of making sure we have diversity and inclusion in our enterprise," he said, adding that his affiliation with Girls Who Code will be another way to recruit more female technologists to his team.

Mr. Polit said he has made sure an equal number of men and women enroll in IT leadership development programs at P&G. About 46% of the company's managers are women, while at junior employee levels, the split is about even.

P&G's focus on gender parity has "had a significant impact on how well we're performing right now," Mr. Polit said.

Women account for less than 20% of computer science majors and less than 25% of the computing workforce in the U.S., according to Girls Who Code Founder and Chief Executive Reshma Saujani, citing research from her group and Accenture PLC.

Other corporate technology leaders have also been involved with the nonprofit in recent months. Vince Campisi, senior vice president and chief digital officer of United Technologies Corp., in February announced a more than $1 million investment in Girls Who Code to expand its programs.

Write to Sara Castellanos at sara.castellanos@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 10, 2019 16:30 ET (20:30 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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