Code Fellows Wins WTIA DEI Award

On November 4th WTIA hosted its first DEI Summit, commemorating the first year of WTIA’s intentional and focused efforts to eradicate systems of inequity in the tech sector. The event also marked the launch of WTIA’s DEI Awards, which recognized and honored organizations making outstanding progress toward achieving diversity, equity and inclusion wins for employees, clients, and stakeholders.

We are more than honored to have been the recipient of WTIA’s DEI Award for making an impact in reaching and achieving these goals. Here at Code Fellows, we believe that technology careers should be open to everyone which is why we were among the first companies to sign WTIA’s Anti-Racism in Technology Pact.

“We are a small company, committed to a big dream: The vision of empowering the beautiful breadth of humanity to find rewarding careers in tech, helping to shape an even brighter future for all. Since our beginning in 2013 we set out to prove that we could create a more accessible pathway into tech that wouldn’t require 4 years of undergraduate schooling or $100,000 dollars of student debt. We’ve now built a program that takes someone who has passion, grit and determination with no understanding or background in tech, to be career-ready in less than 6 months and have over 1,600 alumni employed at over 800 companies, many who are now leading teams of their own.” - Brook Riggio, VP of Education

Our technical fields are lacking diversity for many reasons. Often, qualified candidates aren’t pursuing careers in a technology-related field because they just don’t hear of opportunities, or are discouraged somewhere along the way. Some lose interest because they lack role models, others avoid tech or STEM careers because they perceive workplaces to be unfriendly or outright hostile, still others simply may not have the financial means to afford the kind of education necessary to secure a career in tech.

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to obtain the skills they need to secure financially rewarding and meaningful careers. One of the ways that we have worked to accomplish this is by implementing a Diversity Scholarship Fund that has given away over $4 million, in order to close the opportunity gap, and by also giving one full-ride scholarship to a Black American in every cohort we offer.

The mission of Code Fellows is to reshape the tech industry as a whole by creating a pipeline of diverse candidates that come from all walks of life, across lines of socio-economic status, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

We model bias-reduction in hiring practices with a “work-sample” interview process, through a bias-free talent portal that puts the emphasis on graduates' skills, not skin color, ethnicity or gender. We train our staff on relevant DEI topics on a monthly basis at an all-hands meeting ensuring we are focusing on identifying and removing any intrinsic biases that we hold, understanding our history, and overcoming current unjust systems.

We train our students to be leaders in DEI, making commitments to developing a more welcoming environment based on principles of psychological safety at Code Fellows and other companies they go on to work at.

It will be the people from all walks of life desiring to level up, the curious who fall in love with learning, and the problem solvers who see things that need to be changed that will find impactful careers in technology, and THEY will use technology to shape a better life, a better community, and a better world.

“The simple truth is that technology is reshaping the modern world like nothing ever before seen. But who knows the tech well enough to set the direction in which we go? If we really want to see technology solve the most pressing problems of the future, we need a diverse technical workforce, supported by inclusive professional environments, with equitable power structures. If we can ensure the future of technological power isn’t just in the hands of a white elite, but made available to all, black and white, Latinx and indigenous, female, male, non-binary, queer and straight… then we can address the most meaningful challenges of the current age.” - Brook Riggio, VP of Education

Receiving this award is wonderful, but for all of us here at Code Fellows, it’s not about the awards or accolades, it's about changing lives. We believe that there is always more we can do, more barriers we can remove, and more we can learn ourselves as we strive toward a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse future.

Curious about what steps you can take to help shape a more diverse and inclusive future where everyone has an equal voice?

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