Lesbians Who Tech Launches Scholarship for LGBTQ Women

May 6, 2016

11:23 am

Diversity in tech is a much talked about issue. Unfortunately, it often appears that there is much more talking than doing going on. That’s why it’s really inspiring to see people actually taking action.

In this case, action is being taken by Lesbians Who Tech and Dev Bootcamp. They have recently announced a partnership to teach more LGBTQ women how to code.

This partnership began when Lesbians Who Tech launched the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund on Kickstarter. They set a goal at $100k and Dev Bootcamp jumped in to match the goal to become the marquee partner for this scholarship.

How the scholarship will work (from the Kickstarter page):

  • We raise $100K to send 11-15 queer women to coding school (and if we raise $150K, we send 20 queer women to coding school, and $200K would send 25 queer women to coding school!)
  • Through an application process, we select our next round of 2016 coding scholars
  • Each scholar chooses and applies for the coding school or bootcamp of their choice
  • Upon being accepted, Lesbians Who Tech, through the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund, covers a minimum of 50% of each scholar’s tuition
  • In addition to tuition coverage, scholars are also provided with a network of lifelong mentors to support their journey
  • Coding scholars go on to likely get recruited and hired through their programs, and in turn, begin making the world a better, techier, queerer, more feminist place.
  • We continue the process; the more money we raise each year, the more queer women continually learn how to code

“It is important for us, as LGBTQ women, to protect our history and secure our future. By naming this scholarship after Edie, we’re doing just that,” said Leanne Pittsford, founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech. “We honor Edie with this fund and help clear the path for a future generation of women, specifically queer women coders, who are looking to make an impact on the quality of tech products and platforms with their diversity of perspectives.”

Dev Bootcamp has launched several diversity initiatives, which is one thing that makes them the perfect partner to help fund this scholarship. Last month, they announced a donation from Facebook that helped them offer full-tuition scholarships for 20 people from underrepresented communities to attend its San Francisco program. A year ago, the company awarded 34 diversity scholarships in conjunction with #YesWeCode and the White House Tech Hire Initiative.

The Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund is the latest iteration of a scholarship fund started by Lesbians Who Tech in 2015. The previous program committed $40,000 from venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen to help teach queer women of color to code. The six chosen recipients scholars are currently enrolled or preparing to start classes at a number of coding academies.

The Scholarship is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and a member of the LGBTQ community. Applications close on June 1, 2016.

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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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