Etsy may be better known for knit products than coded ones, but the company just announced that it’s teaming up with Hacker School, a three-month coding program in New York City, to give out scholarships to women who want to become better programmers. The tech world has long been a boys’ club—not even one in five software developers are women—and the idea is to take a stab at evening out the gender inequality a bit.
The scholarship program will award $5,000 grants to 20 women who want to attend the summer 2012 session of Hacker School, held in Etsy’s headquarters in New York. The school, whose three founders include a woman, looks for students who love programming and have “curiosity, passion, raw intelligence and a desire to build things.” The full-time program takes students through an informal instruction period for programmers of all skill levels, requiring that “everyone writes free and open source software” so others can use and learn from it. The goal of the scholarship is to fill half the spots with women and have a gender-equal classroom.