One of our core principles at Code Fellows is that everyone should have the opportunity to develop. However, tech teams have remained stubbornly homogeneous. Lack of access to high-quality training, along with both active and passive discouragement keep women and minorities from pursuing tech careers. Veterans, too, have a surprisingly hard time accessing technical training for the most lucrative and rewarding tech jobs.
We want—no, we feel compelled—to change this, which is why we’re launching the Code Fellows Diversity Scholarship Fund, a major effort to award scholarships for our courses to qualified women, minorities, and veterans. Our goal is ambitious: to award 40 scholarships, covering $250,000 of tuition, in the program’s first year.
Why do we care so much about diversity? Why does it matter whether women and minorities code? These are big questions we have not taken lightly.
To start, there’s the simple matter of fairness and equality. Many qualified candidates—particularly women and minorities—aren’t pursuing careers in a technology-related field because they are discouraged somewhere along the way. Fewer than 20% of programmers are women, and under 5% are black or hispanic. Whether they lose interest early on because they lack role models or encouragement, or avoid tech careers because they perceive workplaces to be unfriendly, many qualified, talented people are turning away from careers in tech.
But bringing more women, minorities, and veterans into the tech industry isn’t just a matter of social justice. The benefits of creating a diverse workforce reflecting the experience and knowledge of multiple perspectives are well-documented. Diverse teams communicate more effectively, are more efficient, and produce better products. They attract a broader range of talent, increase the number of qualified job candidates, and create role models and opportunities for future generations. They create a flywheel effect for economic growth.
We’re excited to take this step and make this commitment. Through the program, scholarships will fund up to 70% of tuition to courses. Scholarship applications will be available to students once they’ve been accepted into a course. Applications will be reviewed quarterly for the next quarter’s courses.
We’ve seeded the fund and have a supportive roster of launch partners, but we’ll need ongoing support to make the program a success. If you’re interested in contributing, click here to become a supporter.
How to Apply
Eligible students who have been accepted into a course and would like to apply for a diversity scholarship should contact us to request an application.