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Education Programming

Etsy Hacker Grants Support Female Programmers 211

Posted by samzenpus
from the glass-coder-ceiling dept.
samazon writes "Online retail shop Etsy announced a living-expenses grant program for women interested in attending the free Hacker School 3-month programming course. The program is hosted in various New York locations (NYU and Spotify have both hosted sessions) and not only is Etsy offering $5,000 grants to ten women who are accepted into the program, they're also hosting the summer course, and have offered enough space to double the class size to 40 students."
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Etsy Hacker Grants Support Female Programmers

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  • Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AntiBasic (83586) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:30PM (#39651275)

    Who cares what sex the code comes from? I want the best possible, not because it's from a woman.

    But such is the way of "progressives"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:33PM (#39651313)

    100 years ago, in New York, there were signs on Italian businesses which read, "Micks need not apply." ("Mick" is a slur against the Irish, for those of you who are not well read.)

    50 years ago, angry white people held up signs exhorting black people to stay out of their neighborhoods.

    Now that racism is almost completely socially unacceptable (except against Asians, who for some reason are still unjustly and openly targeted,) people who like to blame their failure to relate on those with whom they cannot relate have to find new targets.

    If I was a dude selling stuff on Etsy, I would feel insulted. The owners of Etsy make profit from people who sell there, and then take some of that profit to offer financial support - but only if the person was born a certain way? Fuck that. It's sexism, and it's wrong.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:39PM (#39651415)

    Aren't jackass anti-progressives such as yourself usually the first to whine, "but it's their money, they can do what the want with it"?

  • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:39PM (#39651417)

    Having women in science/tech/engineering/math (STEM) programs is good for the women and their long-term job prospects and incomes, which currently suffer relative to men due partially to lower levels of interest and education in STEM fields. Believe it or not, not everything is about what's best for YOU.

  • by Eponymous Hero (2090636) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:55PM (#39651617)
    here's my contact info... just feed it to your favorite compiler and run the executable to generate a QR code that lets you bypass the 7 proxies to my linkedin profile. btw, your packets smell like roses. you wanna get out of here?
  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesupraman (179040) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:05PM (#39651741)

    I suggest you put you knee back in its jerk, and consider for a moment how you would feel
    if they were to offer a grant that was only available to men..

    Reverse discrimination is no better than discrimination.

    Make sense now?

  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:11PM (#39651799)

    So if it's good for them, why are they not flocking to those fields? Why is it you who gets to decide what's best for women (the tradeoff of higher salary, for working in a field you don't enjoy) instead of them making that decision for themselves? Or are you saying there's some sort of problem women have where they can't make rational choices, and need to be enticed towards them instead?

  • This is great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:14PM (#39651829)

    If we accept the premise that gender is in no way related to programming abilities, the current gender distribution in the field means that we're missing out on a lot of great talents. So why is that, and what can we do about it? Sticking our heads into the sand and pretending that there is no problem sure as hell hasn't worked so far. I think we need to realize that there is a feedback loop going here. Getting more women into programming helps in creating role models and a less hostile environment.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HunsV (2615715) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:18PM (#39651879)
    I must argue strenuously against the idea of "Reverse discrimination." There is only one kind of discrimination. "Reverse discrimination" was invented by people who wanted to imply that some people are more worthy of discrimination than others, which itself is discriminatory. It is a perversion of the social outrage that rightly exists against discrimination.
  • Re:Sexism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:21PM (#39651907)

    They are offering the grant to encourage and promote the participation of women in the field. It's not like they decided, "let's give this money to folks who want to do CS" and then later "...but just women". As you all know, historically the number of women in CS has been very low. You can argue about why this is all you like. If you think the field doesn't suffer by not tapping into such a large demographic of human potential, you're kidding yourself. Medicine and Law shared the same kind of low numbers decades ago but managed to change over time and now there are contributions in those fields made by women that would have never happened otherwise. So:

    1) Many people think it would be good to get more women involved with CS.
    2) Some people are willing to spend some money to that end.
    3) The hope is that once a critical mass is achieved it will become more socially acceptable as a career path for women and this sort of thing won't be needed.

    No one is taking your resources away. These kinds of grants come into existence for this purpose. It's not political. It's not affirmative action. It's a private organization choosing to spend money for this purpose.

    You can whine about it, but it really doesn't make any sense to me why you would. Let's get the best and brightest from both genders involved in our field. I'm a man and I can't understand why anyone would think this is a bad idea.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:22PM (#39651931) Journal

    Why only the women are getting the benefits?

    What about the men?

    Etsy doesn't care about their male customer any longer, does it?

  • Re:Sexism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:29PM (#39652009)

    Lots of people care what gender the code comes from. Not consciously, not overtly, but they care. We're not in an ideal world where no one cares about these things. It's a bias, and it's slowly getting better, but it's not without effort.

    You want the best possible code. I want the best possible code. Great.

    Except society has trained most people to believe that the best code is written by men. And by the sheer number of men in the field, it sure seems like the best code is written by men. It's a bad feedback loop.

    There's a decent chance you're biased against a specific hard drive company. Does the fact that they make the best hard drive get you over your bias? Everyone would like to say yes, but in reality they initially feel "ugh, the last 3 drives I got from them failed within 3 months. Pass". It takes some convincing otherwise.

    And this isn't a problem which will resolve itself naturally, which is what you seem to think will happen. Yes, maybe it'd happen if everyone was like you or me or most of the /. crowd, but the world isn't like us. It's not that simple... this is a problem which needs actively worked on. And that is what is boing done.

    I guess it's sooooooort of similar to how many companies hire only those with experience. Someone has to hire them in the first place in order for them to get experience. Someone has to step up, else everything stagnates.

    Someone has to step up and give women a chance.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:54PM (#39652259) Journal

    A person should not apply for this grant and be denied because of the way they were born. It's revolting and I'm glad to see other people have the same opinion.

    You are an idiot.
    There are thousands of grants that are amazingly specific in their requirements.
    Some are based on country of origin or last name, others are for redheads, left handers, skateboarders, tall people,
    short people, club affiliation, weight, religious affiliation, skin color, academic achievement, and so on.

    They will deny people access to this grant because of their sex. That is discrimination.

    Breaking News: Private citizens can choose who they want to give money to.
    Ric Romero with more at 11.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:37PM (#39652685) Journal

    If 49% of the population is men, and men have an equal rate to become nurses as women, 49% of nurses should be men.

    But we all know they're not.

  • by robwgibbons (1455507) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:51PM (#39652815)
    Men don't have female privelage.
  • by HunsV (2615715) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:55PM (#39652861)

    And, you can't tell me inexperienced females come up with stupider ideas than inexperienced males (if anything, I think it's the opposite, 'cause at least most women I know bother to listen for a bit before making a comment, where most young males just shoot off their mouth at the first opportunity).

    -Erik

    You have stated that women are necessarily better than men at coming up with ideas. You are a sexist. You are also a male, so you are sexist against your own gender. You should get your head examined.

    No more are the comments about the technical correctness of ideas being discussed - nope, suddenly there's snide sexual innuendos that slide in. Women are being "bitches" if they fight for their ideas, but, hey, if I (a guy) strongly advocate my idea, that's just fine. And, that's just the start of it. I hear stuff (both in the discussion and afterwards) about such-and-such being "weak" or "avoiding talking" or similar. Not to mention the fact that during such discussions, I'll commonly see that the topic switches from "which idea is best", to "make sure that girl's idea doesn't win". It's annoying, to say the least, and I can understand why many women avoid tech - it's not fun to be constantly harassed or belittled simply due to being the only woman in the room.

    Even if this is true, why should a man, who has done nothing wrong, be denied assistance - because of what someone ELSE did - based on the fact that they have the same genitals? We are all individuals. Treating a woman differently because she's a woman is wrong. Treating a man differently because he's a man is also wrong. If a man other than me punched you in the face, would you retaliate against him, or against me, based on the fact that we both have dicks? That would be just as unfair as it was when he punched you.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z34107 (925136) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:57PM (#39652869)

    So what is the cause of the lower-than-expected rate of female programmers, and what can we do to fix it?

    Needs "fixing" why? I see no evidence that women who want to become programmers are denied the opportunity.

    Why is it that nobody gives a shit about the lack of male teachers?

  • by LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:58PM (#39652877)

    Please explain to me the "male privilege", especially as related to education.

    I remember my senior year of high school. Out of the the hundreds of college scholarships that were offered, only 10% of them were applicable to white males. We don't all come from families that owned land and people, mind you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:13PM (#39653007)

    Funny how there are always two side to "Feminism".

    One side says "Feminism isn't some extremist theory about patriarchy and male privilege: it's just the desire for equality, who could be opposed to that"?

    But when you point out that some things go beyond formal equality, the other side says "Of course formal equality is not the point, since we have to deal with thousands of years of patriarchy and male privilege".

    People make fun of the far left, but dig deep enough and they are the ones dictating most of our political discourse.

  • by LionKimbro (200000) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:20PM (#39653053) Homepage

    I'm not sure what you mean, but I will try to unpack some of the ideas.

    "The Inside of the Home" and "The Outside of the Home." I am talking about the contemporary society, but also more broadly. Inside of the home is the space literally within the walls of a house or an apartment. Women tend to be the decorators, and in charge of the children, and in charge of care activities. I am not saying that this has to be the case; I am saying that that is how it tends to be in the majority of the cases in our society. Cooking, cleaning, household chores, childrearing, arranging doctor visits, and on and on. Also, interior decoration, arrangement, placements of objects, coordination of guests, and on and on. Even in dual income families, this is generally the pattern.

    "Outside the home" refers to the political arena, the realm of work (in an office, in a quarry, at a factory, etc., etc.,.) Again, I am not saying that this is the required way things need to be. I am saying that this is how it tends to be.

    The current fad of "man caves" -- or, homes within the home for men -- is a demonstration of this "Inside/Outside" division.

    The "intimate violence" that men experience is the control that women hold over intimate relationships, by the withholding power of the "No." Men ask, women reject. The horrors of this were detailed by a woman named Norah Vincent who is a woman who lived as a man for a full year. She detailed exactly what it felt like to be approaching women as a man, and noted for the first time what it is like to be rejected as a man. Women frequently say, "I have been rejected, I know what it's like to be rejected; Man has nothing on me," -- but Norah Vincent actually knows that there is a difference between night and day between the two.

    Women individually and collectively have the power to exclude and shame a man for his sexual advances, which he and he alone is required to make. How many tears have been shed by men because of the way that the sexual relationship plays out? This does not receive enough attention.

    I am not saying that women are bad, any more than noble-minded feminists are saying that men are bed. I am saying that there is something needing analysis here, if we are going to truly understand what is going on in the relationships between men and women in -- and this is one offshoot -- in the programming battle as well.

    Men know that they are at the mercy of women in the intimate sphere -- and they know where their powers are. Men know that their powers are in the programming sphere, in the trades sphere, in the political sphere, and on and on. Men do not want to disarm because women do not want to disarm.

    I have already been called a misogynist, -- just for pointing out the game. The battle is alive and well.

    Let's see; ... What else might be unclear, that *perhaps* I can give explain:

    I said that "Women being the masters of the inside of the home places women as the masters of the inside of the heart." Here I am treating the home metaphorically -- but the message is very visceral and real. Men who love women but can never "make it work," or feel that they have to go through layers of game or interpretation or just giving up (humiliation) in order to "make it work" should be able to intuit what is going on, though. Men and women (heterosexual) have each other in a death-grip around the heart. We love one another, clearly, but we are in a war, we are in a battle. We need each other, and that need has become war.

    Women can say "No," and hold themselves in reserve. Men can push her out or dominate her -- if not physically, then politically, economically, or "any means necessary," whether consciously or unconsciously. Of course, women can play the dominance game as well. But we all feel it. We know what is happening. We know when we are being pushed, and we know when we are pushing. At some level, we know.

    My appeal is to people who dream for equality, true equality, and love, between

  • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by story645 (1278106) <story645@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:20PM (#39653055) Journal

    Women used to make up %40 of CS students in the 1980s (Camp 2001 [cmu.edu]) and make up on average a little over %35 of Israeli undergrads in CS ( Vilner 2006 [uleth.ca]) and vary all over the globe [techrepublic.com]. This indicates that the current US rate of about %20 is due to culture because if there was something biological going on, then the rates around the world should be roughly the same.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:50PM (#39653303)
    Your a sexist. You want get women making as much as men? You want to have as many females in traditionally male dominated jobs? Convince the female population to buy things for men just for the chance that they might get the opportunity to sleep with them. Convince women that paying for men to live is a good idea, and that the men that stay at home are doing 100s of thousands of dollars worth of labor.

    PEOPLE are lazy. Half of our population is taught from birth that they CAN get a job and work if they want a good life. The other half is taught from birth that they MUST get a job and work if they want a good life. Denial that the extreme correlation between being taught that they CAN/MUST have a job and whether people actually do have a well paying job flies directly in the face of all evidence.

    Times are changing. All the way into my thirties, a woman who stayed home was a 'housewife' (or 'homemaker'). A man that stayed home was a 'bum'. Today, we see a little more acceptance of men who stay home while their wife works, but not nearly the acceptance that we see of women in virtually any traditionally male job.
  • by zbobet2012 (1025836) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:20AM (#39653871)

    1) Environments with a good mix of men and women are more productive

    2) 20% of all long term relationships start at work. I am all for improving my odds and so should you be. Its not sexist or objectifying to actually want to interact with the opposite sex daily.

    This is acceptable to me because, its not necessarily "affirmative action", but rather it is attempting to attract another demographic. Lets be clear here, this program is:

    a) Free.

    b) Not terribly competitive.

  • Re:This is great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @04:37AM (#39655033) Homepage Journal

    Because Computer Science requires math, and "math is hard" or so young girls are taught (and pressured implicitly to believe by many of their peers).

    Programming is a field that developed in the aftermath of World War 2. During the war, so many men were off toting rifles and such that women were, by necessity, introduced into the workforce in large numbers. This includes both the "human computers" who performed (without electronic assistance) the calculations that are today done electronically, and the "programmers" (to use the modern term) who were responsible for much of the operation of early electronic computers.

    That was in the 40s, though. Feminism in general gained steam throughout the next few decades, driven in part by the wartime revelation that women were perfectly capable of both keeping the economy productive. Women asserted that they could run things, make money, wield power, and so forth - and they were, and are, right.

    Here's the catch, though: while many women will self-identify as "feminists" (at least if asked; the term has unfortunately picked up some negative connotations of "female > male" sexism), they still don't want to give and receive the same treatment as guys. For example, you're still not going to meet many women who will buy a guy in a bar a drink, uninvited, just because she thinks he's attractive (girls are taught by their friends how to *get* free drinks). You're also not going to find many who are willing to put up with the social consequences of caring more about finishing an AP Computer Science assignment than going shopping for another pair of shoes with their friends.

    At least, that's how it is in the US. Yes, women are taught that they can do whatever they want, and be whatever they want... but they're also taught that what they *should* want is popularity, and that it's more popular to be bad at STEM than good at it! India and China seem to have much less of a problem with this, but I'm only viewing that from a distance so I may be mistaken.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:30AM (#39658377)

    If you think that it's not because of any such man-made roadblocks, then you must be saying that women/blacks/hispanics aren't smart enough to be programmers (which makes YOU the sexist or racist) or that they don't want to be programmers (which is wrong, just ask them).

    Different groups have different interests and aptitudes. You may consider people equal but they are not identical.

    I'm short, fat, white, and have no interest in sports. I didn't get a chance to play major league basketball and it's just not fair. I should be given a grant to help develop the basketball talent the world has cruelly withheld from me.

  • Re:Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:34AM (#39658457) Homepage Journal
    Actually, Sweden is even worse with only 12% female graduates in computer science related degrees. The situation is similar in all the Nordic countries. Those countries also happen to have the highest gender equality rating in the world (discounting some feminist crazies who believe the situation for women in Sweden is just as bad as in Afghanistan). It actually seems that the more freedom women get, the more inclined they are to choose gender stereotyped careers. Maybe on average more men prefer technology and more women prefer nursing? What's so inherently bad about that?
  • by anyGould (1295481) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @01:14PM (#39660371)

    On the other hand, apparently the men-women ratio in nursing is 1:19 [www.cmaj.ca] (yes, one guy for every 19 women). But I suspect if some organization started offering men-only scholarships for nursing there'd be riots.

    I suppose it's just a shame that we have to bribe women to go against the trend, rather than just changing society. (I have a five year old daughter, and I will make damned sure she gets a chance to try a little bit of everything, gender-bias be damned.)

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