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To Diversify The Industry, Apple Pledges To Train More Women

Industry critics have accused the technology companies of discriminating again women.

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Apple, Tim Cook, Campus,China
A guest looks at the Touch Bar on a MacBook computer shown in a demo room following the announcement of new products at Apple headquarters, in Cupertino, California. VOA

Apple is launching a new program designed to address the technology industry’s scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs.

Under the initiative announced Monday, female entrepreneurs and programmers will attend two-week tutorial sessions at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The camps will be held every three months beginning in January. For each round, Apple will accept up to 20 app makers founded or led by a woman. The app maker must have at least one female programmer in its ranks to qualify. Apple will cover travel expenses for up to three workers from each accepted company.

Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Like other major tech companies, Apple has been trying to lessen its dependence on men in high-paying programming jobs. Women filled just 23 percent of Apple’s technology jobs in 2017, according to the company’s latest breakdown. That’s only a slight improvement from 20 percent in 2014, despite the company’s pledge to diversify its workforce.

The idea behind the new camp is to keep women interested and immersed in the field, said Esther Hare, Apple’s senior director of world developer marketing.

It’s not clear how much of a dent Apple’s new program will have. Google also offers training for girls and women pursuing careers in technology, but its program hasn’t done much to diversify the workforce so far. Women were hired for nearly 25 percent of Google’s technology jobs in 2017, up from nearly 21 percent in 2014, according to the company.

Apple, women
Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, California. VOA

Apple and other technology companies maintain that one of the main reasons so many men are on their payrolls is because women traditionally haven’t specialized in the mathematical and science curriculum needed to program.

Also Read: Apple in Court Battle Over App Store

But industry critics have accused the technology companies of discriminating again women through a male-dominated hierarchy that has ruled the industry for decades.

Apple isn’t saying how much it is spending on the initiative, though beyond travel expenses, the company will be relying on its current employees to lead the sessions. (VOA)

Next Story

Now Pay Bills on Amazon Pay While Speaking to Alexa

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer's registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction

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Alexa
The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month. Pixabay

In an India-first feature, Amazon on Wednesday announced that users can now pay their utility bills with Amazon Pay just by speaking to its digital assistant Alexa in the country.

The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more.

Users of Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick and other devices with Alexa built-in, can just give commands such as “Alexa, pay my mobile bill” or “Alexa, pay my electricity bill” to get started.

“The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month.

“We are excited to share that this is an India-first feature which Alexa customers in India can enjoy before any other international customers,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, said in a statement.

Alexa
The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more for Amazon Pay. Pixabay

Alexa will retrieve the amount due for bills from their registered Amazon account and ask for customer confirmation before processing the payment. Customers can enable a voice pin on the Alexa app to make transactions more secure.

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer’s registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction.

ALSO READ: Indian Army to Use New System of Digitised Records of Officers

Alexa will also send a link to register their bill details on the Amazon shopping app before proceeding for the payment, said the company. (IANS)