SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Dev Bootcamp, the original immersive coding bootcamp, and Lesbians Who Tech, a community of queer women in and around tech, joined forces to provide scholarships for LGBTQ women to learn to code and open doors to long-term careers in the technology industry.
With the announcement, Dev Bootcamp becomes the marquee partner for Lesbians Who Tech’s Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $100,000 for the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund launched in mid-April. Regardless of the amount raised on Kickstarter, Dev Bootcamp commits to matching the fundraising end goal of $100,000. Named after a pioneer for both women in tech and gay rights, the Edie Windsor Scholarship Fund pays tribute to the first woman who achieved the highest technical position, senior systems programmer, at IBM in 1968 and won her court case ruling anti-same sex marriage laws unconstitutional in 2013.
“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.”
The $100,000 raised for the scholarship fund will be used to send 10+ LGBTQ women to a coding school of their choice and will pay for 50 percent of each scholarship recipient’s tuition. Dev Bootcamp’s Kickstarter donation match will double the number of women who receive a bootcamp education by directly covering 50 percent of the tuition for an additional 10+ scholars to attend any of Dev Bootcamp’s campuses across the country. Dev Bootcamp is currently enrolling students in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Austin and Washington, D.C.
“It is important for our organization to stand with Lesbians Who Tech and others like it in order to take actionable steps toward a more inclusive technology culture from Silicon Valley to Austin, D.C., New York and around the world,” said LaTeesha Thomas, director of diversity at Dev Bootcamp. “Matching the Kickstarter campaign donations is one more step we can take toward infusing diversity into the tech workforce from the ground up to supplement the top-down actions many big name tech companies are taking.”
Lesbians Who Tech is managing the application process and selection of scholarship recipients for the money raised via the Kickstarter campaign as well as the Dev Bootcamp $100,000 matching contribution. Eligibility for the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and a member of the LGBTQ community. Applications open today, May 4, and close on June 1, 2016. Enrollment dates for the selected scholars will depend on acceptance into the Dev Bootcamp program and other selected bootcamps.
“This collaboration between Lesbians Who Tech and Dev Bootcamp is so important to me because I know first-hand the opportunities that a quality coding education can provide,” said Kara Carrell, Technical Project Manager at LimeRed Studio and Dev Bootcamp graduate. “I donated to the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Kickstarter campaign to help lower the barrier to entry for bootcamps and the broader tech industry and allow other queer women to join me in creating a more inclusive, multi-faceted community of techies and creators.”
This commitment from Dev Bootcamp builds on the momentum created by the company’s recent diversity initiatives. Last month, it announced full-tuition scholarships for 20 people from underrepresented communities to attend its San Francisco program in conjunction with a donation from Facebook. A year ago, the company awarded 34 diversity scholarships in conjunction with #YesWeCode and the White House TechHire initiative. Dev Bootcamp then re-partnered with the #YesWeCode Coding Corps apprenticeship program to offer scholarships to 10 Bay Area residents from underrepresented groups.
The Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund formalizes a scholarship program that Lesbians Who Tech started in 2015. The previous program committed $40,000 of a donation from venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen to send six queer women of color to learn how to code. The scholars are currently enrolled or preparing to start classes at Dev Bootcamp, Hackbright Academy, Fullstack Academy, and General Assembly.
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women represented only 25 percent of the computing workforce in 2015. Upon further dissection of that number, women of color represented less than 10 percent - five percent Asian, three percent black and one percent Hispanic - and that number only goes down for women who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. In 2015, Dev Bootcamp reported nearly 33 percent women, trans and non-binary students.
About Lesbians Who Tech
Lesbians Who Tech is a global community of over 15,000 LGBTQ women in technology and our allies in over 35 cities and growing. Our mission is to create community, increase visibility and advocate for a more inclusive technology industry. Founded in 2012, Lesbians Who Tech hosts annual New York and San Francisco Summits, expanding globally in 2015 with Summits in Berlin, Brazil and Israel, growing year-over-year. Lesbians Who Tech has been called the “Most Diverse Technology Conference” for its focus on increasing the participation and visibility of women, LGBTQ women and LGBTQ women of color in tech. This year, Lesbians Who Tech launched a nonprofit arm that will fund two programs in 2016: a one-day mentorship and job shadowing program called “Bring a Lesbian to Work Day" and the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ women. For more information about the organization and upcoming events, visit lesbianswhotech.org.
About Dev Bootcamp
Dev Bootcamp pioneered the short-term, immersive developer bootcamp, a model that transforms beginners into highly employable web developers in a matter of months. The 18-week curriculum, and one week of career training, teaches the technical skills people need to work as a web developer, but also the interpersonal skills that are critical to working in dynamic, cross-functional engineering teams. With more than 2,100 graduates to date, and locations open in San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Austin and soon Washington, D.C., Dev Bootcamp continues to lead the industry through innovation and expansion. Dev Bootcamp is owned by Kaplan, Inc. For more information, visit devbootcamp.com.