Daylight News

This Scholarship Is Helping to Improve Tech with More LGBTQ Women, Trans and Non-Binary Coders

It’ll come as no surprise that learning how to code is one of the most valuable and lucrative skills you can gain in the modern workforce. 

The median pay for programmers is $89,190, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics — 44% higher than the median for all jobs in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the field is far less accessible for folks in some communities than others. Women make up just 28% of positions in tech, and less than 4% of tech CEOs. These inequities block marginalized communities from important opportunities, but it’s also a detriment to the tech industry itself.

Opening this field to more women, LGBTQ people and people from all backgrounds could bring greater success, advancements and innovation to startups and the tech industry in general — and make a better world for all people.

That’s why Daylight is a proud sponsor of the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship fund by Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, helping LGBTQ women and non-binary folks kickstart a career in tech.

We’re the first banking platform that rewards LGBTQ folks for spending that supports our values and communities. When you use your Daylight card and banking platform, you can directly support our partner LGBTQ businesses and charities.

We’re just getting started as a business ourselves, but we’ve already supported several causes in 2021 alone, and we’ll roll out even more support for our community as we grow in the coming months and years.

How the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship supports queer women and non-binary techies

The purpose of the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship is to increase access to tech careers for queer women, and trans and nonbinary folks. 

Currently, women hold just 28% of tech roles and make up less than 4% — FOUR PERCENT — of CEOs in tech startups. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies was created to shift those abysmal stats toward equity for women and gender expansive folks, and to help the tech industry benefit from the strengths of people from all backgrounds.

The scholarship covers up to half of the tuition for a coding school, and it comes with periodic check-ins, mentorship and networking with a community of past scholarship winners.

Coding schools are a much more time- and cost-efficient, and more accessible, way to train as a developer than earning a college degree. Training through coding schools tends to take around 12 weeks or less. And, because they’re often run by folks from within the tech industry, a coding school carves a clear path to getting a job after graduating.

Remembering Edie Windsor

The coding scholarship is named in honor of Edie Windsor, a legend in both the LGBTQ and technology communities.

Windsor was a trailblazing woman in tech, earning a mathematics degree in 1957 and holding senior programming and management positions at IBM starting in 1958. 

After the Stonewall uprising in 1969, Windsor became increasingly active in New York City marches and events for LGBTQ rights. After leaving IBM in 1975, she became more involve with LGBTQ organizations.

Windsor is best known as the plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case “United States v. Windsor,” which in 2013 overturned the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and is credited with paving the way for the historic Supreme Court decision on marriage equality two years later.

The organization says of Windsor: 

“In love and work, Edie Windsor is one of our community’s greatest role models. We want to be a part of telling her story and helping inspire future generations of LGBTQ, technical women and non-binary individuals.”

How to apply for the Edie Windsor Scholarship

Applications for the scholarship open once a year, and eligible folks can apply online

To apply, you have to choose a school or program you plan to attend. You can choose any coding program, but you’re more likely to be accepted for the scholarship you choose from the organization’s existing education partners, which include about 20 coding schools and bootcampss based online and around the world.

Education partners include Lighthouse Labs, Designlab, Fullsstack Academy and many more.

Any queer women, trans women and non-binary folks are eligible to apply, and Lesbians Who Tech & Allies encourages applicants from all backgrounds, including Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Outside of the application period, you can fill out the interest form to be notified when applications open again.

How to support Lesbians Who Tech & Allies and the coding scholarship

Anyone can support the scholarship fund with a tax-deductible donation of any amount to Lesbians Who Tech & Allies through Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Make a donation to the coding scholarship here.

What is Lesbians Who Tech & Allies?

In addition to the coding scholarship, Lesibians Who Tech & Allies supports queer women, non-binary and trans folks in and around tech to increase visibility, diversify STEM fields and connect with like-minded community organizations.

The organization hosts annual virtual summits featuring some of the most prominent women and queer, trans and non-binary folks in tech and other industries — people like Stacey Abrams, Kara Swisher, Megan Rapinoe, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Dana Sitar is a personal finance writer, editor, writing teacher and owner of Dana Media. She’s written about work and money for Forbes, the New York Times, CNBC and Inc. Magazine. She founded Healthy Rich to publish stories that illuminate the diversity of our relationships with work and money.

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