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Makers has partnered with Coding Black Females to provide a small cohort of women with free software engineering training.
The coding bootcamp will also offer members of Coding Black Females discounted courses going forward.
Claudia Harris, CEO of Makers, said: “Coding Black Females is helping the next generation of women to enter the digital sector and thrive in their chosen career path. Its commitment to community and diversity is shared by Makers.
“Together, we can play a big role in narrowing the skills gap in tech, while also providing a steady supply of well-trained talent that reflects the society we are serving. We look forward to supporting these women as they help shape our digital world.”
A lack of diversity in the UK’s technology sector has been a longstanding issue – not only has the number of women in tech roles remained at around 17% for the last five years, but recent BCS research also found that only 2% of IT workers in the UK are from a black, African, Caribbean or black British background.
As pointed out by Ronda Zelezny-Green, global head of training and e-learning at the Internet Society at Computer Weekly’s annual diversity event, some of the barriers black people can face coming into the sector include algorithms deciding university placements or access to visas, skills that are not needed still being included in job descriptions, and hiring based on who people know.
Coding Black Females is an organisation that aims to support diverse talent by providing training and networking opportunities for black women, as well as working with organisations to help them address issues with diversity and inclusion.
The Makers and Coding Black Females partnership will see six women receive a scholarship to train in software engineering as part of the Makers 16-week software engineering course, and will help them find work as junior developers at the end of their scholarship.
The hope is that offering low-cost training will “remove the financial barriers associated with entering the UK digital and technology industry” and, in turn, work towards a more diverse sector.
Read more about diversity in tech
Charlene Hunter, a software developer who founded Coding Black Females, said: “Makers has a proven track record for delivering the best training on the market for software coding and I am thrilled to be helping so many women from our network to reap the benefits of this opportunity.
“This is a life-changing experience that will open many doors for those who enrol in the programme. It shows that Makers truly believes in championing diversity and using its status as the UK’s leading bootcamp to play a key role in shaping a more equitable society that gives people from all different backgrounds a chance to pursue exciting careers in the technology sector.”
Makers has a history of working to improve diversity in the UK’s software engineering space, launching its annual Women in Software Powerlist in 2019 to showcase some of the UK’s software engineering role models.
During the launch of its 2020 list, Makers called for a “change of narrative” surrounding the lack of women in the tech sector in the hope that finally addressing the lack of women in tech will be the start of working towards redressing the balance in other areas relating to diversity.
It also announced in October 2020 that it would be working with not-for-profit Generation UK to help teach coding to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.