If you’re looking to increase your tech skills by learning coding, the search might be over. Google announced a new initiative at the company’s third annual women techmakers panel that would allow women and minorities in tech to take three months of free coding lessons on their dime.
Gregg Pollack, CEO of the Code School, announced in a blog post that the search giant and his company have partnered to provide thousands of paid accounts for free the Google is paying for three free months for any women and minorities in tech to expand their skills. The offer is part of Google’s $50 million “Made With Code” initiative, which aims to help close the gender gap in tech.
The new initiative comes on the heels of Google releasing the company’s first ever diversity report which revealed that a mere 2% of Google’s employees are African-American and only 30 percent of its employees are women. In the report the company added they’re “the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be—and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution.”
Google offered the free coding class vouchers to women attending its annual I/O developer’s conference, and it also rolled out an online application form that is available to women across different countries. One thousand people will receive free accounts directly, while the unnumbered remainder, estimated to be in the thousands, will be given by referral.
According to Business Insider, Megan Smith, vice president of Google’s X division, said the company’s initiative to encouraging women in tech is all about “debugging inclusion.” “We shouldn’t feel guilty about our biases,” Smith said. “We should wake up and do something about them.”