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The She Word: Rosie Rios, former U.S. Treasurer, “Be brave, be empowered, be yourself.”

Editor's Note: In a special guest edition of the She Word, we talked to former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios about the work she’s done (in and outside of government) to inspire and empower young women. 

Let's start off with an easy one ... tell us about your work as U.S. Treasurer.

As U.S. Treasurer, I oversaw the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint, and and was a senior advisor to Secretary Tim Geithner. But my main focus in my eight-year tenure was putting a woman on the U.S. currency for the first time. We engaged the public to decide which historic women would be featured—there were roundtables and townhalls, and a social media portal for people submit their suggestions via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This effort wasn’t about one woman, or even 10 women, but about the hundreds of women overlooked in our history. I call these women “buried treasure.”

How did this lead to your current efforts to inspire and
empower women?

We learned about a lot of amazing women during the selection process, so we put all the information in a database, and posted it on the Treasury’s website. Now that I’ve left the Treasury, I am working on an initiative called Teachers Righting History, which gives teachers and students access to the database so that they can recognize the contributions that women have made to American history. They can do this in any way they choose—one of my favorite examples was a young man in high school who choreographed a dance about Margaret Hamilton’s experience as a software engineer working for MIT and NASA. It was really powerful.

How does Teachers Righting History influence young girls?

Girls’ experiences in school shape their confidence. What they are exposed to has the same influence as what they are not exposed to. So if they aren’t seeing women celebrated in history lessons or in the classroom, they get the message that women are invisible, and then will question their own value and abilities. When we shine a spotlight on women who have changed history, their accomplishments will inspire other women to change the world, too. And here’s what’s also incredible ... Teachers Righting History is resonating just as much with boys as it is with girls.
Here's an example of an International Women's Day Expedition—this one gives you a glimpse into what it's like to work at NASA.
Rosie's playlist of amazing women. Rock on. 

You teamed up with Google for International Women’s Day. Can you tell us about that?

I worked with Google’s Education team to create some cool stuff through Expeditions and YouTube. Let’s talk about Expeditions first, they are amazing on so many levels! I’m a huge fan of the visual arts. Videos, pictures, and today’s technology allow kids to connect much more powerfully with information and data—they can almost feel it and that is how they learn.

For International Women’s Day, we created 40 new Expeditions to expose kids to career paths they never knew existed. They could experience what it’s like to be an astronaut, an engineer, a UN policy advisor, a female firefighter and more. We are giving young girls a glimpse of these careers now, so that they’ll be inspired to pursue those careers one day. Our future leaders need inspiration in order to have aspiration.

I also worked with the YouTube team to create a YouTube Kids playlist called “Super Women of Our Past,” about the women who shaped our country’s history. Some of these women are already in history books (like Eleanor Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman) and others are less well-known—so this is another way to help young kids discover the buried treasure I mentioned before.

Back to the buried treasure … who is an example of a woman you discovered and never knew about before?

Grace Hopper—she was one of the pioneers of coding. Imagine what it would look like if this generation of young girls grew up wanting to be the next Grace Hopper?

If you could ask one woman from history a question … who would it be and what would you ask?

I can’t pick just one! I’d want to ask all of them, “what did you want to be when you grew up?” A person’s aspirations as a child are so important, but most of these women grew up during a time when their options were limited.

When you were growing up, did you ever dream that one day you’d be U.S. Treasurer? What did you want to be when you were young?

I never in a million years thought I’d work in the federal government, but I had no doubt that I would go to college. I was raised by a single mom, and she sent all nine of her kids to college during a time when the dropout rate for Latino communities was really high. I always wanted to be a lawyer, and I thought I’d go into family law. I wanted to be a champion for families like my mom was. She was the one who would drive someone to the doctor if they needed a ride, or would hold a meeting at our house about installing a stoplight at the corner. My mom was my first exposure to true feminism.
My mom was my first exposure to true feminism.
Here is Rosie with her son Jack, her mother and her daughter Brooke. 

You worked at a local library when you were in high school. Who are your favorite fictional heroines?

I have always loved Shakespeare’s female characters—Viola in “Twelfth Night” and Rosalind in “As You Like It” are two of my favorites. There’s a rebellious side to these women. They had a protest mentality, whether it meant dressing as a man to get their way or speaking their minds, even though it wasn’t “ladylike.” These characters are defiant and I love their spirit.

If our daughters lose, we all lose.

You worked in the highest levels of government. What would you to say to women who are considering a career in government, but are intimidated by entering the public sphere?

There are a few ways that I think about this. First, you have to find your voice. When I asked why it’s taken so long to get a woman on U.S. currency, the answer was “no one brought it up.” I found my voice on this issue, and it led to an important change.

It took us eight years to get there, which brings me to the second piece of advice: be persistent. I approached this project the same way I’d approach any job—I did my due dilligence and I stuck with it, I never wavered.

The last important piece is to find your champion. Most of my champions have been men with daughters. They invested in me because of the future they envisioned for their daughters. If our daughters lose, we all lose. When I was sworn in as U.S. Treasurer, my daughter asked why my secretary was conducting the ceremony. She thought Tim Geithner was my secretary! I raised her to believe in a world where I am the boss and a man is my secretary.

Data Journalism Awards 2017: Call for submissions

With trust in journalism under attack, data journalism has never been more vital. And this year, for the sixth consecutive year, we’re proud to support the 2017 Data Journalism Awards.

But you need to get your skates on: The deadline is fast approaching for the only global awards recognizing work that brings together data, visualization and storytelling to produce some of the most innovative journalism out in the world today.

It’s a part of our commitment to supporting innovative journalism both in Europe and around the world.

Past winners of the $1,801 prizes include the New York Times, Buzzfeed, FiveThirtyEight, Quartz and IndiaSpend. 2017 hopefuls don’t have long: the deadline for this year’s awards is April 7, 2017 at midnight GMT.

And if you’re wondering why the prize is $1,801? That’s because in 1801 William Playfair invented the pie chart.

Aimed at newsrooms and journalists in organizations of all sizes—big and small—the #DJA2016 awards will recognize the best work in key categories, including:

  • Data visualisation of the year

  • Investigation of the year

  • News data app of the year

  • Data journalism website of the year

  • The Chartbeat award for the best use of data in a breaking news story, within first 36 hours

  • Open data award

  • Small newsrooms (one or more winners)

  • Student and young data journalist of the year

  • Best individual portfolio

The competition is organized by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to high-quality journalism, with the support of Google and the Knight Foundation. For Google, the Data Journalism Awards offer another way for foster innovation through partnership with the news industry, in addition to our efforts through the Digital News Initiative and the work of the Google News Lab teams around the world.

Data journalists, editors and publishers are encouraged to submit their work for consideration by joining the GEN community via this form by April 7 at midnight GMT. A jury of peers from the publishing community, including new jury members Esra Doğramacı from Deutsche Welle and Data Journalism China’s Yolanda Ma will choose the winners, which will be announced during a gala dinner at the Global Editors Network Summit in Vienna on June 22.

Good luck!

Simon Rogers is Data Editor at Google’s News Lab and Director of the Data Journalism Awards

Take your shot. Let Google give you the Assist(ant).

Your Google Assistant can help you follow all of the ups and downs of college hoops, from South Carolina’s surprise win to Villanova’s bracket-busting loss to this weekend’s nail-biting matchups.

Here are some questions to ask your Assistant:

  • Tell me the latest sports news
  • How do you make queso dip?
  • What time’s the Wisconsin game tonight?
  • And when you’re with your friends, try: “Tell me a sports joke.”

Whether you’re cheering along with friends or already looking ahead to when you’ll definitely win the pool next year... the Google Assistant is on your team.

The High Five: game time and morphin’ time

This week, we saw lots of high fives on the basketball court and among Power Rangers fans … but not on a particular episode of “Wheel of Fortune.” Here are a few of the top five trending Google searches from the week of March 20.

Tragedy in London

People turned to Google find out more information about the tragic attack in front of the U.K. Parliament in London, and developments in the days that followed. Many questions centered on the identity of the attacker, who killed four people in the deadliest terror attack in the U.K. in over a decade.

It’s searchin’ time

Children of the ‘90s, rejoice—and go, go to the movies. The Power Rangers are back, with a reboot hitting theaters today. Some people are nostalgic and searching about past Power Rangers, while others want to know who’s who in the new movie. One thing’s for sure, the graphics and costumes have improved over the last couple of decades.

Bracket racket

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is in full swing (oops, wrong sport). In addition to bracket updates and scores, people wanted to know: “What are the conference records for the NCAA tournament?” And “Gonzaga Men’s Basketball” is a trending search now that they’re one win away from their first-ever Final Four.

The other type of Court

Searches about Neil Gorsuch continued to rise this week, as the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearing took place in Washington. So far, searchers seem to be in the “small talk at a dinner party” phase—they’re curious about his age, where he lives and his marital status.

Not so fortunate

This week on “Wheel of Fortune,” Tennessee Williams fans groaned. And so did the contestant whose performance left something to be desired. With $600 on the line, Kevin was one letter away from solving a puzzle that read, “A Streetcar N-A-blank-E-D Desire.” He went with K (the correct letter was M). STELLLLAAAAAAA!!!!

Work hacks from G Suite: a new corporate training regimen (no weights required)

In our first G Suite Hacks article, we shared tips from the Transformation Gallery to help employees automate everyday workflows and save time. Today, we’re focusing on corporate training tips that will help your employees stay engaged so they can do their best work.

According to last year's Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, employees at all levels expect their employers to provide consistent opportunities to learn and develop new skills, and 30% of executives see learning as a primary driver of employee development. But training employees has its own set of challenges, like scaling programs and trainers, ensuring easy access to training materials, accommodating learning styles and tracking progress.

Here are a few ways you can improve your corporate training with G Suite:

1. Scale your training program with an online hub

Create one place where employees can access training material any time. Start by uploading or creating your training files in Team Drives, a central place within Drive for teams to house files. Organize these files into shared folders by topic or course level. Next, set up a Site to display all of the content from Drive and add relevant pages, like training videos, slides, guidelines or handbooks. Share your new hub with employees so that they can easily access training materials, even on mobile. And anytime you need to update training materials, just go into Drive and update the files there. Sites will automatically reflect changes.

2. Provide live training options, too

It’s also important to provide face-to-face training for your employees. You can create a live training option with Hangouts Meet so that employees can join training sessions from a conference room, their favorite coffee shop, or another remote location. Simply set up Calendar invites for training events and send them to your employees (It’s a good idea to post these events to your new training Site so that anyone who missed the invite can join.). Then, track employee attendance with Forms.

3. Quiz employees on their knowledge

Once your employees have completed their training course, you’ll want to track their learning progress. You can do this easily by setting up quizzes in Forms and assigning point values for each question. Let your employees see which questions they missed and explain why so that they can continue to master concepts. And to improve your training course, ask for real-time feedback within the Form. Quiz data is tracked in Sheets so you can keep a pulse on who’s completed training courses and who might need some additional help.

With these quick tips, you can help your employees to do their best work. Check out this G Suite Show episode to learn more, and let the training begin!