Tag Archives: Diversity

Women Techmakers Summit Europe: Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in Tech

Posted By Franziska Hauck and Katharina Lindenthal , Google Developer Relations Europe

Once a year, we invite community organizers and influencers from developer groups that support diversity and inclusion in their local tech ecosystem to the Women Techmakers Summit Europe. The Women Techmakers Summit is designed to provide training opportunities, share best practices, show success stories and build meaningful relationships. The fourth edition of the WTM Summit in Europe took place in Warsaw, one of Europe’s most innovative tech and startup ecosystems.

Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019

Expertise from the Community for the Community

The Women Techmakers Summit hosted 120 people, all women and men that are leading tech communities across Europe. With more than half of the sessions being delivered by community influencers, the group came together to share their best practices, learn from each other and discuss all things related to diversity & inclusion. “A fantastic opportunity to meet other community organizers across Europe and learn from each other.”

We also invited role models to draw inspiration and motivation from. Head of Google for Startups, Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniek, and Cloud Engineer, Ewa Maciaś, demonstrated that stepping out of our comfort zone is something we should do more and more. No one has the right answers from the start but by trying out new ways, we can carve our individual paths. Fear of failure is real. It should not keep us from experimenting, though.

Google’s Natalie Villalobos, head of the Women Techmakers program, and Emma Haruka Iwao, record breaker for calculating the most accurate value of Pi with Google Cloud, gave a glimpse into their personal stories. Their insights? Sometimes we need to go through hard times. They equipped us with the right mindset to push through, become your boss and succeed.

This left the attendees with the right motivation to get back to their communities: “This was my first WTM Summit, and it was an incredible experience. I met some amazing ladies and role models, and will be happy to share the inspiration I got with my local community.”

Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi

Building the Basis for Diversity and Inclusion

“Being at the WTM Summit felt like being inside a family. I felt really included like at no conference before." To make everyone feel welcome, a code of conduct was visible for all attendees, and prayers and parents spaces were provided for all attendees. The itself needed to become the inspiration for community organizers and influencers to carry the learnings back to the communities.

Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities

Women Techmakers: Changing the Narrative

One of the core elements of Women Techmakers is creating and providing community for women in tech. Women Techmakers Ambassadors thrive diversity and inclusion initiatives in their local tech community to help to bring more women into the industry. In Europe, more than 150 WTM Ambassadors from 25 countries support their local tech communities to close the gap between the number of women and men in the industry. Meetup organizers and community advocates who want to achieve parity can join the Women Techmakers program. As members, they are given the tools and opportunities to change the narrative.

If you are interested in joining the WTM Ambassadors Program, reach out to WTM-Europe@google.com

Empowering Women Techmakers Around the World Through Localization

Posted by Marisa Pareti, on behalf of Women Techmakers

Women Techmakers creates visibility, community and resources for women in technology by hosting events, offering free training and piloting new initiatives with different groups and partners around the world. Earlier this year, we launched Women Techmakers in 60 Seconds, a YouTube series where we explain advanced technical topics in one minute or less.

Today, we’re excited to announce our partnership with the GDS Global Localization Program to expand the accessibility and reach of our content. Together, our teams will work to create a diverse user experience by reducing language and cultural barriers. Localization goes beyond translation. While references in the US might not be popular concepts in other countries, our passionate partners ensure they sound natural to people around the world.

We’re proud to produce a series that reaches, inspires, and educates the Google Developer Community all over the world. Every other Wednesday, we’ll publish a new episode discussing topics like APIs, Virtual Machines, and more. In the comments below the video, we’ll include additional resources for you to explore if you want a deeper dive into the video’s theme. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved with Women Techmakers, check out our website and sign up to become a member.

Adding Diversity to Images with Open Images Extended



Recently, we introduced the Inclusive Images Kaggle competition, part of the NeurIPS 2018 Competition Track, with the goal of stimulating research into the effect of geographic skews in training datasets on ML model performance, and to spur innovation in developing more inclusive models. While the competition has concluded, the broader movement to build more diverse datasets is just beginning.

Today, we’re announcing Open Images Extended, a new branch of Google’s Open Images dataset, which is intended to be a collection of complementary datasets with additional images and/or annotations that better represent global diversity. The first set we are adding is the Crowdsourced extension which is seeded with 478K+ images donated by Crowdsource app users from all around the world.

About the Crowdsourced Extension of Open Images Extended
To bring greater geographic diversity to Open Images, we enabled the global community of Crowdsource app users to photograph the world around them and make their photos available to researchers and developers as part of the Open Images Extended dataset. A large majority of these images are from India, with some representation from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

The images, focus on some key categories like household objects, plants & animals, food, and people in various professions (all faces are blurred to protect privacy). Detailed information about the composition of the dataset can be found here.
Pictures from India and Singapore contributed using the Crowdsource app.
Get Involved
This is an early step on a long journey. To build inclusive ML products, training data must represent global diversity along several dimensions. To that end, we invite the global community to help expand the Open Images Extended dataset by contributing imagery from your own hometown and community. Download the Crowdsource Android app to contribute images you’ve taken from your phone, or contact us if there are other image repositories (that you have the rights for) that you’re interested in adding to open-images dataset.

Acknowledgements
The release of Open Images Extended has been possible thanks to the hard work of a lot of people including, but not limited to the following (in alphabetical order of last name): James Atwood, Pallavi Baljekar, Peggy Chi, Tulsee Doshi, Tom Duerig, Vittorio Ferrari, Akshay Gaur, Victor Gomes, Yoni Halpern, Gursheesh Kaur, Mahima Pushkarna, Jigyasa Saxena, D. Sculley, Richa Singh, Rachelle Summers.

Source: Google AI Blog


Introducing the Inclusive Images Competition



The release of large, publicly available image datasets, such as ImageNet, Open Images and Conceptual Captions, has been one of the factors driving the tremendous progress in the field of computer vision. While these datasets are a necessary and critical part of developing useful machine learning (ML) models, some open source data sets have been found to be geographically skewed based on how they were collected. Because the shape of a dataset informs what an ML model learns, such skew may cause the research community to inadvertently develop models that may perform less well on images drawn from geographical regions under-represented in those data sets. For example, the images below show one standard open-source image classifier trained on the Open Images dataset that does not properly apply “wedding” related labels to images of wedding traditions from different parts of the world.
Wedding photographs (donated by Googlers), labeled by a classifier trained on the Open Images dataset. The classifier’s label predictions are recorded below each image.
While Google is focusing on building even more representative datasets, we also want to encourage additional research in the field around ways that machine learning methods can be more robust and inclusive when learning from imperfect data sources. This is an important research challenge, and one that pushes the boundaries of ways that machine learning models are currently created. Good solutions will help ensure that even when some data sources aren’t fully inclusive, the models developed with them can be.

In support of this effort and to spur further progress in developing inclusive ML models, we are happy to announce the Inclusive Images Competition on Kaggle. Developed in partnership with the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems Competition Track, this competition challenges you to use Open Images, a large, multilabel, publicly-available image classification dataset that is majority-sampled from North America and Europe, to train a model that will be evaluated on images collected from a different set of geographic regions across the globe.
The three geographical distributions of data in this competition. Competitors will train their models on Open Images, a widely used publicly available benchmark dataset for image classification which happens to be drawn mostly from North America and Western Europe. Models are then evaluated first on Challenge Stage 1 and finally on Challenge Stage 2, each with different un-revealed geographical distributions. In this way, models are stress-tested for their ability to operate inclusively beyond their training data.
For model evaluation, we have created two Challenge datasets via our Crowdsource project, where we asked our volunteers from across the globe to participate in contributing photos of their surroundings. We hope that these datasets, built by donations from Google’s global community, will provide a challenging geographically-based stress test for this competition. We also plan to release a larger set of images at the end of the competition to further encourage inclusive development, with more inclusive data.
Examples of labeled images from the challenge dataset. Clockwise from top left, image donation by Peter Tester, Mukesh Kumhar, HeeYoung Moon, Sudipta Pramanik, jaturan amnatbuddee, Tomi Familoni and Anu Subhi
The Inclusive Images Competition officially started September 5th with the available training data & first stage Challenge data set. The deadline for submitting your results will be Monday, November 5th, and the test set will be released on Tuesday, November 6th. For more details and timelines, please visit the Inclusive Images Competition website.

The results of the competition will be presented at the 2018 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, and we will provide top-ranking competitors with travel grants to attend the conference (see this page for full details). We look forward to being part of the community's development of more inclusive, global image classification algorithms!

Acknowledgements
We would like to thank the following individuals for making the Inclusive Image Competition and dataset possible: James Atwood, Pallavi Baljekar, Parker Barnes, Anurag Batra, Eric Breck, Peggy Chi, Tulsee Doshi, Julia Elliott, Gursheesh Kaur, Akshay Gaur, Yoni Halpern, Henry Jicha, Matthew Long, Jigyasa Saxena, and D. Sculley.

Source: Google AI Blog


We are many and one: Googlers mark AAPI Heritage Month

Tiffany’s mother was born in Hong Kong. Her father was born in Vietnam. She is proud to be Chinese, Asian, and American. 

Aerica’s mother is Japanese from Kyoto, Japan and her father is Black, from College Station, TX. She identifies as Black and Japanese. 

Together, we are the chairs of the Asian Google Network (AGN), whose mission is to support the diverse and multicultural Asian community at Google and beyond. Founded in 2007, AGN is open to all Googlers and provides an annual mentorship program, opportunities for civic and community engagement; leadership development; and curriculum to advance racial justice for all.

We celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month every year in service to that mission. And for the 40th anniversary of AAPI Heritage Month, it was important to us to convey the diversity of the Asian experience in America. For example, Asians at Google trace their roots to more than 20 countries, are multiracial, multiethnic, and speak dozens of languages. And when Asian ethnicities are disaggregated, the data shows that there are wide chasms in access to education, income, and representation. That means that issues that impact AAPIs are broad as well.

As part of this year’s AAPI celebrations, we created an internal curriculum for Googlers on Asian narratives called “We Are Many and One: Gathering Asian Narratives,” where participants share stories and find both common themes and differences within the Asian American Pacific Islander community at Google. Across the country, AGN chapters also put on events for their local communities, such as the exhibit organized by AGN Ann Arbor, which uses timelines, Supreme Court cases, poetry, and the stories of local Googlers to tell the history of Angel Island, the entry point for many Asian immigrants coming to the United States.

Angel Island Exhibit.jpg

AGN Ann Arbor members observing the Angel Island Exhibit

To recognize the AAPI community outside of Google, we partnered with Google Expeditions to feature tours of “Hokule'a's Worldwide Voyage” and “Kamehameha: Unification of the Hawaiian Islands.” YouTube created a playlist of AAPI artists. Google Assistant embedded 10 new AAPI facts activated by the question, “Hey Google, what’s up?” And just today, the Doodle team created a Doodle celebrating Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe.

Doodle_-James-Wong-Howe.jpg

In the spirit of celebrating our diverse community, we also spoke with several members of AGN to hear about why they participate in AGN, what this means to them, and who inspires them.

Why does AGN matter to you?

agn_joshli.jpg

Josh Li, Founder of AGN

AGN provides a safe space where Googlers can share more about their own backgrounds, cultures, challenges they face, and help each other excel at Google and outside of Google.

agn_edwarddoan.jpg

Edward Doan, AGN Chapter Lead, Austin

As an American-born child of Vietnamese immigrants, I have the "neither-here-nor-there" feeling of straddling two cultures. I have learned to embrace this state, and it's wonderful to meet fellow Googlers who share the same feelings!


Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

agn_ashishsathe.jpg

Ashish Sathe, AGN Chapter Lead, Ann Arbor

I still remain connected with my family's roots in India and make it a point to visit every year. I’m proud that India is a country of many different cultures and people that came together to form an identity. From Bollywood movies and music to colorful curries, elements of Indian culture are becoming popular across the world, and I am proud to share this with people in America and around the world.

agn_lynmahinam.jpg

Lyn Mahina'okalani Mehe'ula, AGN Member

I am Native Hawaiian & Japanese, and I am incredibly proud to belong to an indigenous American culture. My father descends from Chief Kahekili, who was the last King of Mau'i until the Hawaiian Islands were unified in 1810. My mother's side brings in Japanese, as her grandparents migrated to Mau'i over 100 years ago for job opportunities following the Islands' agricultural boom.


Who in the AAPI community inspires you?

agn_amieninh.jpg

Amie Ninh, AGN Race Affairs Lead

I have a lot of heroes in the AAPI community—Yuri Kochiyama, Grace Lee Boggs, Helen Zia. They are activists who strived to build coalitions with other communities of color and also give visibility and voice to the issues impacting the AAPI community.

We hope you’ll join us this AAPI History Month in learning more about the AAPI community and working toward a more just and inclusive world. 

Start making your business more accessible using Primer

Posted by Lisa Gevelber, VP Marketing Ads and Americas

Over one billion people in the world have some form of disability.

That's why we make accessibility a core consideration when we develop new products—from concept to launch and beyond. It's good for users and good for business: Building products that don't consider a diverse range of needs could mean missing a substantial group of potential users and customers.

But impairments and disabilities are as varied as people themselves. For designers, developers, marketers or small business owners, making your products and designs more accessible might seem like a daunting task. How can you make sure you're being more inclusive? Where do you start?

Today, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we're launching a new suite of resources to help creators, marketers, and designers answer those questions and build more inclusive products and designs.

The first step is learning about accessibility. Simply start by downloading the Google Primer app and search "accessibility." You'll find five-minute lessons that help you better understand accessibility, and learn practical tips to start making your own business, products and designs more accessible, like key design principles for building a more accessible website. You may even discover that addressing accessibility issues can improve the user experience for everyone. For instance, closed captions can make your videos accessible to more people whether they have a hearing impairment or are sitting in a crowded room.

Next, visit the Google Accessibility page and discover free tools that can help you make your site or app more accessible for more people. The Android Developers site also contains a wide range of suggestions to help you improve the accessibility of your app.

We hope these resources will help you join us in designing and building for a more inclusive future. After all, an accessible web and world is a better one—both for people and for business.

"Excited to see the new lessons on accessibility that Primer launched today. They help us learn how to start making websites and products more accessible. With over 1 billion people in the world with some form of disability, building a more inclusive web is the right thing to do both for people and for business."