Can Boot Camp Scholarships, University Efforts Overcome Women's Lack of Confidence?

Izenda Content Strategist

October 18, 2017

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By Bob Pepalis, Izenda

Each month we take a look at recent technology news to spot the trends and advances in software and other industries. If you spot a piece of news to share or have a comment, send it to me via email.

Coding Boot Camp Awards Scholarships Monthly to Women

At least one coding boot camp wants to get more women into technology fields, according to a story by Tech Target. The Flatiron School gives 25 women a month 50% off tuition for its online program. Every woman who attends its New York campus gets a $1,000 discount.

The school uses its Women Take Tech scholarship program to put more women in tech jobs. Its 2017 student employment report claims 97% of graduates get jobs. But only 35% of grads were women.

Universities Try to Attract More Women to Computer Science
Georgia Tech computer science major Marguerite Murrell "counts the girls" in her classrooms. She counts it as a "win" if fewer than 10 girls are in a class, according to a story on TechRepublic.

Industry leaders such as Apple CEO Tim Cook said the nation's tech industry needs to solve its gender imbalance, or the United States will lose the lead in tech. How can they reverse the trend that shows women earn only 18% of computer science bachelor's degrees?
Universities like Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford try to attract more women to computer science programs with introductory courses that don't require a lot of prior knowledge. Men often get the jump on them anyhow, as they can skip the introductory courses.

High profile sexual harassment cases at companies such as Uber don't help attract women, either.

Does a Lack of Confidence Stall Careers?

Can a group of women who will gather in Silicon Valley create a product in five days to chip away at the glass ceiling?
They might, but don't expect them to feel confident about it, according to a story by the BBC. Columbia Business School in New York said women tend to underestimate their abilities while men overestimate by close to 30%.

That confidence gap can mean fewer promotions, opportunities, and less pay over the course of a career. This happens despite the results of reliable social studies giving men and women a scientific reasoning quiz. Women almost always say they performed worse than they did, with men saying they did better. In reality, the results are about the same.

Silicon Valley Turmoil Doesn't Negate Somewhat Encouraging Findings

Crunchbase revisited its Women in Venture Report 18 months after its release to determine if they could measure any improvement. Women investing partners at the top 100 venture firms edged up to 8%.

Crunchbase noted the public disclosures on sexual harassment of women, pay discrimination, and sexism since the report's release. Investing firms and startups took steps to improve behavior and workforce diversity in response.

Silicon Valley has seen unprecedented turmoil following a string of public disclosures on pay discrimination and sexual harassment of women. In response, many investment firms, as well as startups, have taken steps to improve behavior as well as the diversity of their workforces.

A couple of other welcome statistics include:

  • Eight firms in the top 100 added a female partner for the first time.

  • Women now hold 15% of the partner roles at accelerators and corporate venture firms.

Apple Co-Founder Helps Woz U Get Online

Another online technology school got started last week, with this one involving Steve Wozniak. Called Woz U, the startup already offers courses for software development and computer science skills.

A press release said Woz U is "designed to get people into the workforce quickly and affordable." While the Arizona-based school starts online, they plan physical campuses in more than 30 cities across the United States and the world.

"Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt," Wozniak said in a statement. "People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can't do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how."

Even with Wozniak, co-founder of Apple with Steve Jobs, apparently "inspiring" the school, you probably don't need a Mac to enroll.
Expect delays if you try to enroll. I filled out the simple form and got a text message back that it may take career counselors 48 hours to get back to me.

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Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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