The online craft marketplace Etsy has started funding a school that teaches people how to hack and use technology. That’s fine in itself, but what makes it good news noteworthy is that they are openly encouraging more women to get into the tech space and is having a positive impact.
After having one female student in all of its past three classes, the current batch at Hacker School now has 23 women out of 53 students, said co-founder Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock. That’s still under half of enrollment, but some 661 women applied for the summer program, with an enormous bump following Hedlund’s announcement. “If anything, the admissions standards went up,” Bergson-Shilcock said.
Etsy ended up raising its grant amount to $7,000 for 10 students, to allow for taxes, and signed on Yammer and 37signals to provide four more grants each, for a total of $126,000 offered for female students who asked for financial assistance.