Several coding initiatives geared towards women have garnered media attention during the past few weeks and one more has launched today, albeit in the United States.
Square, a Jack Dorsey-founded, Silicon-Valley based startup that creates a free credit card reader for smartphones and iPads, has launched its second annual College Code Camp today. Canadian women over the age of 18 are eligible to apply.
College Code Camp is a four-day immersion program that includes coding workshops and mentorship sessions with Square leaders, focused around women students pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a related technical major.
“Today, 18 percent of computing jobs in the U.S. are held by women,” said Square’s Sarah Friar. “We created Code Camp to encourage more women to enter careers in technology and empower a new generation of entrepreneurs.”
Twenty winners will be selected to participate in College Code Camp and will be flown to San Francisco and provided accommodation for the four-day program. Current university students can submit their resume and essays online about why they would like to be part of the program. The deadline is October 25.
Winners will be notified by November 15 and College Code Camp will run January 7-11, 2014.
In an email the company said that College Code Camp was created “to inspire and educate college women in computer science, and encourage them to pursue careers in engineering and technology,” and will “connect students with female role models, strengthen their technical skills, and help build a stronger community around entrepreneurship.”
Today House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Square’s offices for a roundtable discussion with Square merchants and employees. Pelosi discussed how the private and public sectors can work together on encouraging women entrepreneurs.
“Square has a unique understanding of the strength, creativity, and savvy that women bring to the business table,” said the highest-ranking female politician in American history. “Women students and entrepreneurs are the cornerstones of a brighter future for our economy, our communities, and our country, and Square’s Code Camp will teach, mentor, and mold the next generation of coding engineers who will help ensure America remains a global leader in technology and innovation.”
College Code Camp’s website says that at Square has “built a culture that encourages collaboration, diversity and entrepreneurship.” With just 18 percent of computing jobs in the US held by women, the startup knew it had to “do something to close the gender gap.” Thus, the Code Camps were created to inspire, educate and empower the next generation of women in technology.”
It’s worth mentioning that Square founder Jack Dorsey, who also runs Twitter, valuated the company at $4 billion in April 2012. Square received $200 million in series D funding in August 2012 and acquired interface design specialists 80/20 in October 2012.
About two weeks ago the company was fined over $500,000 by the State of Florida for operating a payment service without a money transmission license. It was the company’s second run-in with a US state financial regulator since March of this year.