Applied Marketing Science Supports Google in Research About Women in Computer Science

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Study identifies what can inspire young women to pursue Computer Science

We partnered with AMS on this study to make sure that we’re focusing our efforts in the most important areas. The results aren’t just heartening, they're informing the way we shape our outreach efforts.

Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS), a market research and consulting firm, announces the publication of a research study AMS conducted for Google in 2013. The research is part of Google’s ongoing effort to reverse the long-term decline in enrollment in the field of Computer Science among women in the U.S. The study finds that social encouragement to pursue Computer Science has a strong influence on the decision to study in the field, as does exposure to Computer Science courses and careers.

“Google is committed to increasing women’s representation in tech, and we've invested in Computer Science education outreach for many years,” says Mo Fong, K-12 Education Outreach Director for Google. “Most recently, we launched Made with Code ( and made a commitment of $50 million over the next three years to support programs that can help get more females into Computer Science. We partnered with AMS on this study to make sure that we’re focusing our efforts in the most important areas. The results aren’t just heartening; they're informing the way we shape our outreach efforts.”

Four attributes in particular are most influential, according to the study:

●    Social Encouragement: Positive reinforcement of Computer Science pursuits from family and peers
●    Self Perception: An interest in puzzles and problem solving and a belief that those skills can be translated to a successful career
●    Academic Exposure: The availability of, and opportunity to participate in formal (e.g., graded studies) and informal (e.g., after-school programs) Computer Science coursework
●    Career Perception: Familiarity with, and perception of, Computer Science as a career with diverse applications and a broad potential to achieve positive societal impact

The study also showed that while demographic attributes, such as ethnicity and family income, have an impact on decision making these characteristics matter less when the four influential factors are taken into account.

Google and AMS jointly designed and executed a survey of a representative sample of 1,600 high-school students and recent college graduates. Working in close collaboration with Google, AMS developed several predictive models using logistic regression, a statistical technique. The models identified which among the 91 characteristics included in the survey—aggregated from a literature review of previous research—had the most influence on the decisions young women and men make with respect to pursuing Computer Science coursework. These included family background, educational experiences, personal goals and attitudes, peer influences and socioeconomic conditions.

“As the father of a daughter myself, I am grateful for the work Google is conducting and proud of our firm’s involvement,” says John C. Mitchell, Principal at AMS and lead consultant on the project. He continues, “Few companies are as innovative and admired as Google, and none is as well-positioned to foster discussion around diversity in technical education, and effect change in a concrete way.”

The Women Who Choose CS white paper, as well as information on related diversity initiatives at Google, is available for download at

About Applied Marketing Science
Applied Marketing Science (AMS) helps companies apply the Voice of the Customer and other techniques to create innovative products and distinctive customer experiences. Founded in 1989 with roots in the MIT Sloan School of Management, AMS offers an array of services to help clients uncover customer insights to guide important business decisions. Visit for more information.

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