Seattle’s “TechStars for engineers” wants to see more women in tech and just debuted a new class solely for female hackers.
The idea for the class came from Jennifer Chynoweth, the Recruiting Evangelist at WhitePages. She was talking with Code Fellows Chairman and Director of TechStars Seattle Andy Sack about the lack of female programming talent in the Emerald City and Code Fellows decided to bring the idea to life.
“The concept for the women-only class was really an idea Jennifer had to surface the female programming talent from the Seattle-area and give them an opportunity to learn Ruby on Rails,” said Will Little, Managing Director at Code Fellows. “Code Fellows is bringing this idea to life.”
The new bootcamp will accept 25 people and run from July 8 to August 23. Those interested can apply here.
The cool part about Code Fellows, which launched in January, is that it guarantees that its graduates will earn at least $60,000 within six months after the program — or they will refund the $4,000 tuition. Code Fellows graduated its first class in March and currently has another class in session.
“We have already helped four graduates secure jobs in Seattle, while a number of others have decided to pursue their own startups,” Little said. “Meanwhile, we are still working with other graduates to help them get placed over the summer.”
While Seattle ranks second in the nation for women entrepreneurs, the gender wage gap in the Emerald City is another story. A new study out earlier this month showed Seattle having the largest wage gap between men and women among the 50 major cities in the country.
The tech and startup industry is certainly dominated by men. However, there are definitely some notable female entrepreneurs in the Seattle area: Mary Jesse at Ivy, Liz Pearce at LiquidPlanner, Jane Park at Julep and Christina Lomasney at Modumetal, just to name a few.
The picture to the right is from Startup Weekend Women’s Edition, an event hosted last summer by Julie Sandler of Madrona Venture Group and Shauna Causey of Decide.com. It marked the first time that a female-oriented hackathon was held in Seattle. Of the 90 participants, 75 percent were women.
Most of the women said that they were inspired by the event, saying that they would participate at future Startup Weekends. Adriana Moscatelli, a user experience designer who led the gaming upstart Pink Matrix Labs, said she made some fantastic connections during the event.
“In our daily work, we spend all day around guys,” said Moscatelli. “It was such a unique opportunity to spend time around so many smart, engaging and geeky women.”
GeekWire columnist Monica Guzman wondered if it was discriminatory to host an event that limits the participation of one group in favor of another.
“Is this a healthy event for our startup climate, or a flawed one?” Guzman asked.
You can check out Guzman’s column and all the interesting reader comments here.
Previously on GeekWire: Life in Code: Why this entrepreneur is telling the stories of women in tech