Apple to tutor women in tech in bid to diversify industry

November 26, 2018 by Michael Liedtke
Apple to tutor women in tech in bid to diversify industry
In this Oct. 27, 2016, file photo, a guest looks at the Touch Bar on a MacBook computer shown in a demo room following the announcement of new products at Apple headquarters, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple is opening a new training camp designed to address the technology industry's scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Apple is launching a new program designed to address the technology industry's scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs.

Under the initiative announced Monday, female entrepreneurs and programmers will attend two-week tutorial sessions at the 's Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The camps will be held every three months beginning in January. For each round, Apple will accept up to 20 app makers founded or led by a . The app maker must have at least one female programmer in its ranks to qualify. Apple will cover travel expenses for up to three workers from each accepted company.

Like other major tech companies, Apple has been trying to lessen its dependence on men in high-paying programming jobs. Women filled just 23 percent of Apple's technology jobs in 2017, according to the company's latest breakdown . That's only a slight improvement from 20 percent in 2014, despite the company's pledge to diversify its workforce.

The idea behind the new camp is to keep women interested and immersed in the field, said Esther Hare, Apple's senior director of world developer marketing.

It's not clear how much of a dent Apple's new program will have. Google also offers training for girls and women pursuing careers in technology, but its program hasn't done much to diversify the workforce so far. Women were hired for nearly 25 percent of Google's technology jobs in 2017, up from nearly 21 percent in 2014, according to the company.

Apple to tutor women in tech in bid to diversify industry
In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. Apple is opening a new training camp designed to address the technology industry's scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Apple and other technology companies maintain that one of the main reasons so many men are on their payrolls is because women traditionally haven't specialized in the mathematical and science curriculum needed to program.

But industry critics have accused the companies of discriminating again through a male-dominated hierarchy that has ruled the industry for decades.

Apple isn't saying how much it is spending on the initiative, though beyond travel expenses, the company will be relying on its current employees to lead the sessions.

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