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Facebook, Linkedin Join to Help Women in Tech

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Women interested in technology, at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Facebook and LinkedIn together have launched an initiative to boost the number of women studying engineering and computer science.

Credit: Tiffany Fox

Facebook and LinkedIn have launched a collaborative initiative to boost the shrinking numbers of women studying engineering and computer science in order to fill thousands of lucrative Silicon Valley jobs that are traditionally dominated by men. The initiative includes mentoring and support programs at colleges to get more women involved in studying technology in general, but also as future employees.

"If everybody who creates a product looks the same, you know the results won't be nearly as interesting," says Anita Borg Institute CEO Telle Whitney. "We want for the sake of our future to have women involved in all the projects that will change our lives."

Although the executives would not disclose how much of a financial commitment they are making, the initiative is different in that it is more focused on peer groups and a mentoring process already established through Lean In Circles, an international conversation about the lack of women in positions of power, launched by Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg in 2011. "A lot of our consumers, at least half, sometimes more, are women," Sandberg says. "We build a product that gives people a voice. We know we can't build a product for the world unless our teams reflect the diversity of the people who use the product."

From The Associated Press
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