Diversity and inclusion is a topic that all too often starts and ends with white women. MotherCoders, while targeting women, aims to support moms of all backgrounds — whether they be LGBTQ, single and/or people of color.
“If you look at our cohorts, they tend to be really represented,” MotherCoders founder Tina Lee told TechCrunch. “I want to make a cohort that’s truly diverse and inclusive.”
Google, an imperfect company in the realm of diversity and inclusion, has teamed up with nonprofit organization MotherCoders and New York City’s Women.NYC initiative to offer a free, nine-week tech training program for moms. The initiative was born out of the desire to help moms in New York City, Lee said.
“There’s a huge population of very educated people, but moms tend to get pushed out of the workforce,” Lee said. “There’s this ideal worker model where you have to be in all the time, but maybe they need extra time to recover and can’t do all of the things at the same time. In many cases, we end up with a lot of moms who are overeducated and underemployed. There’s no reason why moms shouldn’t be included in the diversity and inclusion initiatives going on.”
“Our vision with women.nyc is to make NYC the nation’s best city for women to succeed across sectors – including tech, where women have historically been underrepresented,” NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said in a statement to TechCrunch. “MotherCoders offers us a compelling way to address this issue by combining best-in-class training with child care, at once removing two of the major barriers to women in tech. This partnership will help us build a tech ecosystem that is truly representative of NYC.”
Since its launch in 2015 in San Francisco, MotherCoders has graduated five classes of women, who have seen an average salary increase of 68 percent. MotherCoders usually costs about $7,000 per student, but in this case, Google is footing the entire bill.
“Google has been proud to support the amazing work of MotherCoders for the last three years and we’re thrilled to now welcome them to the NYC community,” Google NYC Head of External Affairs Carley Graham Garcia said in a statement. “Creating opportunities for everyone and increasing access to CS Education is something we have in common with MotherCoders and Women.nyc and we can’t wait to see the impact this program has on women across the city.”
In order to apply, you must be at least 21 years old, have a college degree and have at least tried learning how to code. The cohort is accepting applications starting today and begins February 2019.
“Right now, we require a college degree just because they’re the easiest to onramp into tech companies,” Lee said. But as the tech industry becomes more inclusive of people without college degrees, Lee said MotherCoders will follow suit.
While MotherCoders won’t necessarily make everyone who goes through the program tech job-ready, graduates of the program have gone on to work at companies like Google, Airbnb and Code for America.