Etsy Hacker Grants Support Women in Technology

by Intern Caroline

Gender disparity is a problem that’s deeply engrained in our society. Within the tech industry, the numbers are staggering. Carnegie Melon University took note with their famous Dave-to-Girl ratio. After realizing the number of men named Dave in their computer science program outstripped overall females, they implemented changes to their department that would attract a broad spectrum of students. Four years later, the program boasted 40% women which goes to show that girls are just as capable as boys. 

 Marc Hedlund, the VP of Engineering at online marketplace Etsy, wants to see more women engineers. Today he announced a partnership with New York City’s Hacker School, a writer’s retreat for programmers, to help reach that goal.  Etsy wants to send 20 women to the Hacker School summer program and they’re offering  $5,000 scholarships to 10 talented ladies to make sure it happens. 

 Right now, Etsy’s Engineering and Operations department employs 11 women. While it might not sound like much, it’s a huge jump from the 3 who were there in September 2011. Hedlund has taken an active role in seeking out and hiring more women, recognizing that the site’s vendors and clientele are largely female. 

 “Twenty is a small number, but it would roughly match the total number of female engineers I’ve hired in the past 17 years,” Hedlund says. “Even a small change can have a large impact, given the severity of the issue.”

 If you’re a woman with an interest in becoming an engineer, or if you know somebody who is, check out Etsy’s page for more information on the grants. 

Image source Etsy

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