It is important that all are represented when creating technology.
Last month The Iron Yard announced that it has partnered with Code Fellows and Operation HOPE to create the Tech Opportunity Fund. The fund aims to provide $100 million worth of code school diversity scholarships over the next five years. The goal of the Tech Opportunity Fund is to increase diversity in the tech industry by removing financial barriers and increasing access to tech education for all.
“The tech industry needs to be more diverse,” says Jessica Mitsch, Executive Director of the Iron Yard’s code school. “It is important that all are represented when creating technology.” “All” includes those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford code school tuition, and those who are diverse in terms of gender and race.
Mitsch explains that the relative newness of the tech industry offers the opportunity to make the tech workforce more diverse, so long as members of diverse demographics have a chance to learn the necessary skills.
“Coding bootcamps can have a big impact on making the tech industry more diverse,” Mitsch says. She explains that coding bootcamp participants can complete the programs within three months and expect “really great, really stable jobs with flexibility.” Mitsch describes the tech industry as more of a meritocracy than other industries, making it possible for those currently underrepresented in the tech community to land in demand tech positions.
The Iron Yard has committed $40 million in scholarships and Code Fellows has committed $5 million. Operation HOPE will provide financial literacy and entreprepreneur training. So not only will participants learn to code, they will also learn to responsibly invest and save their income.
For the Tech Opportunity Fund to reach its goal of $100 million in scholarships, they need more employers and code schools to become partners in the fund. To join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org