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Women Who Code’s Gen Ashley is setting up a scholarship to help women break into tech

Gen Ashley, the director of Women Who Code, is raising funds for a new scholarship programme to help women break into the tech industry, NS Tech can reveal.

Ashley intends to launch the initiative in the first quarter of 2018 and hopes it will appeal to women who are struggling to afford a sideways move into the sector.

“The average cost of going to a coding bootcamp is around £8,000,” she said. “Not a lot of people can afford it, especially given that you have to be out of work for three or four months.”

Ashley spoke to NS Tech about her plans ahead of TECH(K)NOW DAY, a tech conference for women hosted in the Charter Building in Uxbridge, West London last week.

The conference, which Ashley founded, brought together hundreds of female technologists and was sponsored by tech firms. Ashley is now looking to some of those sponsors to provide funding or expertise to support the course.

“We will ask some of them to contribute to the training, not just on the monetary side of things but in terms of actual expertise,” she said. 

The number of scholarship places available will depend on how much funding Ashley is able to raise: “We need to work out the mechanics in the next few months.”

A survey in 2013 indicated that just 11.2 per cent of software developers are women.