Travel e-commerce giant Booking.com has launched a two-year initiative designed to support women seeking careers in technology.

Working with the University of Oxford in the UK and the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the scholarships will be granted to women looking to further education and advancement in the tech sector.

The grants will equal €500,000 across both university partnerships.

“As a company powered by technology and digital innovation, Booking.com believes strongly in ensuring equal access and opportunity for all within the technology sector,” says chief executive Gillian Tans.

“Recognising that female participation in technology is lower than it should be, we are committed to bolstering female tech talent, eliminating obstacles and challenges they face, and fostering diversity.”

A total of 15 scholarships will be available starting in the 2018/19 academic year. Ten of these will be for one-year Master of Science (MSc) courses across three departments at the University of Oxford - Department of Statistics, Mathematical Institute and Department of Computer Science - available to female students from across the European Union.

A further five will be two-year MSc courses offered through TU Delft and available to female students from a range of its partner universities across sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2015, the European Commission found that 1.4 people were studying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the EU, with women accounting for only 17 per cent of all students.

It also found that of 1,000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in ICT, compared to 95 men.

Gillian Tans added: “Women are still heavily under-represented in a range of areas of post-graduate study which are relevant to building a successful career in tech.

"By introducing the Women in Technology Scholarships we hope we can drive change, increase diversity and demonstrate that there are exciting opportunities in tech for talented women from across the EU and beyond.”