Since opening our doors in 2012, an important part of Flatiron School’s mission has been increasing access to coding education for women. Today, we take a greater stride toward gender equality in tech by launching our Women Take Tech initiative in partnership with female-founded beauty subscription pioneer Birchbox. Through Women Take Tech, we’re dedicating over $100,000 in scholarship funding to increasing opportunity for future female software engineers – in January alone! Read on for more details.
Women and the Tech Landscape
The stats surrounding women in tech bear repeating:
That number has been declining since its 1991-high of 36%.
And even when women manage to get their foot in the door of the male-dominated tech industry, they often don’t stay there: 41% of women in tech end up leaving the industry.
That’s 25% higher than it is for men in similar roles, and significantly higher than it is for women in other non-STEM fields.
A disheartening portrait of the gender breakdown in tech.
According to Rebekah Rombom, VP of Career Services & Business Development at Flatiron School, “the gender pay gap is actually much smaller in tech than in other industries – last year, our female graduates made slightly more than our male grads. But we need to work to keep women in the field to benefit from that.” She also stresses that diversity is a business issue: “Having a range of perspectives and experience leads to more inventive solutions and products; studies show that companies with greater gender diversity outperform their competitors.”
What we’ve accomplished so far
A shot from our recent Women in Tech breakfast.
At Flatiron School, we’ve been invested in helping women build fulfilling careers in tech from day one. We’ve partnered with organizations like Kode with Klossy and Women Who Code on scholarships; we’ve facilitated dialogue on issues facing women in tech with events like our recent breakfast on Imposter Syndrome; and we’ve had the honor of welcoming hundreds of amazing female students to our community, both on our NYC and online campuses.
Meanwhile, with its digital-first business model, tech powers every element of Birchbox – most notably its core focus on building personalized boxes tailored to each customer’s unique profile (no easy feat with more than 1 million subscribers!). Its founders have also been outspoken advocates for breaking the “Silicon Ceiling.“
“I’m lucky enough to work at a company where I feel empowered, validated and respected – and where I know my engineering designs have a measurable impact on our business,” said Becky Case, Director of Engineering, Core Platform & International at Birchbox. “I want to give that same opportunity to all women considering a career in technology; we need to make sure we’re encouraging them beyond the initial introduction to coding and are fostering supportive work environments so they stay in the game. I’m proud that Birchbox is partnering with the Flatiron School to help women take that important first step.”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Birchbox – a female-founded, female-focused technology company,” says Rombom. “The team at Birchbox understands the importance of having a diverse tech team with talented women that represent the customers they serve.”
Introducing Women Take Tech
Now we’re taking our biggest step yet to address tech’s gender gap with the launch of our Women Take Tech initiative in partnership with Birchbox. This new scholarship fund is dedicated to increasing opportunity for future female software engineers and bringing greater gender diversity to tech. In January alone, Flatiron and Birchbox will award over $100,000 in scholarship funding – 25 women will receive 50% scholarships toward our Online Web Developer Program, cutting their monthly tuition in half ($750/month). As part of the program, Birchbox and Flatiron will also partner on an event series featuring Birchbox’s female tech leaders to inspire members of our communities to pursue tech careers and offer advice on overcoming obstacles they may face as women in tech.
“One month of scholarships will contribute new voices to up to 25 companies – and not in four years or a decade from now; these women will be working in tech jobs in 2017,” Rombom adds. “That makes a real difference in the diversity and – ultimately – the quality of work companies can produce. We're grateful for Birchbox's enthusiasm, and can't wait to see these women thrive.”
“Flatiron School has done wonders to make coding accessible, non-intimidating, and fun for people who are new to tech. We share similar values at Birchbox and demonstrate that through both our consumer product and our internal team culture,” said Katia Beauchamp, Co-founder and CEO of Birchbox. “Our team of engineers, product managers, and data scientists continue to make it possible to shift the paradigm of the beauty industry. This scholarship is about providing more women the resources to shape their future, as well the future of careers in technology.”
How to Apply
We're excited to invite you to apply for one of these 25 Women Take Tech scholarships. Together, we’ll change the face of tech.
While Flatiron School no longer offers the Women Take Tech Scholarship, we do still offer a range of scholarships to diverse applicants across our many campuses and disciplines: