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Apple ups WWDC scholarship numbers in a bid to increase diversity

Apple is taking a bold step in its attempt to improve the diversity of its developers by offering 350 scholarships to students, women and certain ethnic minorities.

The scholarships include free entry to this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, an event which would normally cost $1,599 and only be open to randomly selected developers. Apple is almost doubling the number of available scholarships this year, with the cap previously sitting at 200.

The WWDC scholarships are available to students aged 13 or older who can prove they have the potential to be talented developers. To be considered, candidates must develop a Mac or iOS app that “showcases creativity and technical skills”. Applications are open from April 22 – 26.

Apple’s public stance on diversity shows that it’s actively trying to change the fact that – like most Silicon Valley tech companies – its employees are mostly white and male. Apple is targeting specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) organizations, including Girls Who Code and Blacks in Technology, in an effort to redress this imbalance.

Whatever your views on positive discrimination, its nice to see Apple opening up more free places for budding developers at WWDC.