In an effort to crack the glass ceiling hanging stubbornly over the heads of women in the tech industry, Etsy, the giant online flea market (but the charming kind, not the gross kind that's full of old Sega games and iffy produce), is offering 10 $5,000 grants for female programmers needing financial assistance to attend the 2012 session of Hacker School this summer at the company's New York headquarters.

Marc Hedlund, Etsy's VP of Engineering, announced the grants in a blog post, admitting that over the course of his career, he's hired hundreds of men, but only dozens of women. Hedlund explained this nagging discrepancy (and the continued dearth of female managerial talent) thusly:

Last September, three out of 96 employees in Engineering and Operations at Etsy were women, and none of them were managers. Talking this over with others here, we thought that Etsy - which supports the businesses of hundreds of thousands of female entrepreneurs through our marketplace, which sells a majority of all items to women, and which already has many talented and amazing women working for the company - should be one of the single easiest Internet companies at which to correct this problem.

Since Hacker School launched just last summer, only one woman has taken part in the three-month hackathons. Hedlund said that Etsy's goal is to attract 20 women (out of the 40 total participants) to this summer's session, a move that the company hopes will drive more women into engineering roles at Etsy and across the tech industry. Have fun at nerd camp, ladies β€” you're going to miss out on some nasty sunburn and melted ice cream stickying your fingers.

Etsy to send female programmers to summer hacker school [LA Times]

Etsy Hacker Grants: Supporting Women in Technology [Etsy]