Apple launches a new program designed to address the technology shortage of women in technology in the field of executive programs and computer programming.
Under the initiative announced Monday, female entrepreneurs and programmers will attend two-week tutorial sessions at Cupertino, California.
The camps will take place every three months starting in January. For each round, Apple will accept up to 20 employees found or run by a woman. The application maker must have at least one female programmer in turn to qualify. Apple will cover travel expenses for up to three workers per accepted company.
Like other major technology companies, Apple is trying to reduce male dependence on high-paying programming jobs. Women occupied only 23% of Apple's technology in 2017, according to the company's latest breakdown. This is just a slight improvement from 20% in 2014, despite the company's commitment to diversifying its workforce.
The idea behind the new camp is to keep women interested and be immersed in the field, said Esther Hare, Apple's chief marketing officer for global developers.
Apple's training camp is "a big step forward," said Lorrain Hariton, executive director of Catalyst, a group fighting for equal rights for women working. "There are a lot of talented women in technology. We hope this will help set a tone for the whole industry."
But it's not clear how much a new Apple program will do. Google also offers training courses for girls and women pursuing a career in technology, but its program has not done much to diversify the workforce so far. Women were employed for nearly 25% of Google's technology in 2017, up from almost 21% in 2014, according to the company.
Apple and other technology companies claim that one of the main reasons why so many men are on their wages is that women do not traditionally specialize in the mathematical and scientific curriculum required for programming.
But industry critics have accused technology companies of discriminating against women through a male-dominated hierarchy that has led the industry for decades.
Apple does not say how much I spend for this initiative, but beyond travel expenses, the company will rely on its current employees to head the sessions. Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, AP