So far in 2018 only 2.2% of venture capital funding has gone to startups founded by women. There are multiple reasons for that (none of them good), but Apple is trying to address the problem by providing some valuable design and coding help.
The company will offer a two-week technology lab at its campus in Cupertino in which participants will receive one-on-one app development guidance from Apple experts and engineers. That includes “mentorship, inspiration, and insights from top Apple leaders,” the company says.
Apps are for everyone, and they should be made by everyone. We’ve just announced the first-ever Apple Entrepreneur Camp for women-founded and women-led companies — entrepreneurs who are already changing the world for the better. https://t.co/9NqruefG3R
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 27, 2018
Participating startups can send up to three people to the sessions. At least one must be a woman developer, and one must be a female founder, cofounder, or CEO. A third person can be any gender, Apple says. The tech giant says it’ll keep doing the coding labs–once every three months starting with the first one in January. Each event will accept 20 startups.
The relationship doesn’t end after the two weeks. The startups get ongoing follow-up from an Apple developer who knows the industry niche that the startup is involved in. The startup also gets a membership to the Apple Developer Program, which allows them to submit their apps to the App Store. And the startup’s founder, cofounder, or CEO, along with one female developer, get to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
The tech industry is still largely a male industry, and the numbers show it. Just 23% of all tech jobs at Apple were occupied by women in 2017; that’s only a slight improvement over the 20% reported in the company’s diversity breakdown in 2014. A quarter of skilled tech jobs at Google are filled by women, up from 21% in 2014.