Who Are Lesbians Who Tech?
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Reviewed by Angelique Geehan
Historically, the LGBTQ+ community has been denied equal opportunities to succeed in tech, and one organization aiming to change that is Lesbians Who Tech. This organization launched in 2012 with the goal of breaking barriers in the tech industry and providing visibility for underrepresented groups, especially LGBTQ+ people of color.
Through its international network of roughly 50,000 members and events like an annual Pride Summit, Lesbians Who Tech helps connect LGBTQ+ women, non-binary and gender nonconforming individuals, and trans individuals in tech.
Lesbians Who Tech's Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship also covers up to 50% of tuition for LGBTQ+ women and non-binary students, helping them afford the cost of partner bootcamps like DigitalCrafts, Coding Dojo, BrainStation, Epicodus, and Fullstack Academy.
Why Focus on Women in Tech?
Lesbians Who Tech strives to close the gender gap in tech. Due to a historical lack of support, women account for only a quarter of the workforce in computing jobs, according to the Pew Research Center. Black and Hispanic professionals are also underrepresented in the STEM workforce, and this lack of representation is even more pronounced among Black and Hispanic women.
How Does Lesbians Who Tech Hope to Achieve Its Goals?
Lesbians Who Tech increases inclusivity in tech by providing networking opportunities and tuition discounts for qualifying coding bootcamps. LGBTQ+ tech professionals have the chance to meet hiring partners and connect with others in the industry at the annual Pride Summit. Those looking to enter the tech field can apply for the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship, which covers partial bootcamp tuition.
A variety of speakers and participants converge every year at Lesbians Who Tech's Pride Summit, which draws more than 5,000 attendees. The 2021 Lesbians Who Tech conference lineup features 40% Black and Latinx speakers. Past speakers include Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Megan Rapinoe, Elizabeth Warren, Melinda Gates, and Hillary Clinton.
The five-day conference focuses on building leadership and technical skills. Participants also join meetups and discuss widespread societal issues, such as health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and institutional anti-Black racism. Attendees who purchase event passes can visit the summit's sponsor expo and career fair.
Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship
The Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship offers awards to LGBTQ+ women and non-binary indivuals interested in entering tech. The scholarship honors Edith Windsor, a LGBTQ+ rights advocate whose case led to the Supreme Court recognition of same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. Windsor was also an IBM computer programmer who got her start in 1958.
Winners receive aid covering up to 50% of their tuition, depending on the bootcamp.
Scholarship recipients must be accepted through a qualifying bootcamp's admissions process. They must also complete the full program and attend Lesbians Who Tech and Edie Windsor Coding Scholar events. Finally, individuals must be active in the Edie Windsor Coding Scholar community via email, online meetups, and face-to-face meetings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lesbians Who Tech
No. Members of Lesbians Who Tech include LGBTQ+ women, non-binary and gender nonconforming individuals, and trans individuals in tech or tech-adjacent roles.
The five-day Pride Summit focuses on tech training, networking, and raising awareness about civil justice. Lesbians Who Tech offers free tickets that provide access to behind-the-scenes content and keynote talks. Paid attendees also receive access to the sponsor expo and career fair. Full and partial Pride Summit scholarships are available.
Students can use the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship at partner bootcamps listed on Lesbians Who Tech's website. The organization has partnered with bootcamps like CareerFoundry, Code Fellows, Fullstack Academy, and Codesmith in the past.
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Angelique Geehan works to support and repair the connections people have to themselves and their families, communities, and cultural practices. A queer, Asian, gender-binary, nonconforming parent, Geehan founded Interchange, a consulting group that offers anti-oppression support. She organizes as part of several groups, including National Perinatal Association's Health Equity Workgroup, the Health and Healing Justice Committee of the National Queer and Trans Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, QTPOC+ Family Circle, and Batalá Houston.