lesbianswhotechWebsite Twilio.org is offering to match all donations to Lesbians Who Tech (LWT) scholarship for the next month.

The STEM industries are notoriously male-dominated. In terms of LGBT representation in tech, this translates to the vast majority of queer techies being gay white males. While we support and love the gay males in our community, this is a clear instance of a cluster of structural inequalities intersecting and disenfranchising queer women and particularly queer women of colour.

Lesbians Who Tech, founded by the wonderful Leanne Pittsford in 2014, is an organization that seeks to alleviate this disparity and give LGBT women the skills, opportunities and connections to pursue successful careers in tech.

First and foremost, Lesbians Who Tech is about creating a visible, global community of LGBT women in tech. In the three years since its inception, LWT has connected over 25,000 queer women and allies, and a major part of this has simply been about cultivating a supportive environment in which queer women are comfortable and confident enough to come out to each other at work, and share their experiences.

LWT’s website articulates this first barrier, stating: “We all know that familiar feeling of meeting someone in a work setting, knowing she’s a lesbian, and trying to work it into a conversation and make that connection. We’re about making that happen: connecting lesbians and building a network of colleagues, associates and friends in the industry.”

But as much as a community is crucial, the benefits of money cannot be discounted. College is expensive, and queer women in tech need all the help they can get.


Via Lesbians Who Tech

Says LWT: “We are creating the kind of world that we (and you!) want to live in. Imagine what the tech industry would be like if every game-changing startup had one queer woman developer if everyday apps were built by LGBTQ women and women of colour if women powered 50%, not 20% of technical roles if we made up 50% of tech startups – not 5%.” That’s a future we want to be part of.

Twilio.org, a company that aims to fuel communications that give “hope, power, and freedom”, has now challenged the LWT community to raise $100,000 in the next 30 days, which they will match with a grant of $150,000 to support the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship – a scholarship that makes it possible for new, incoming gender non-conforming and LGBTQ women to kickstart careers in technology, named after LGBTQ and technology legend, Edie Windsor, whose was heroically victorious over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and displayed great technical leadership as a computer programming pioneer at IBM.

If you can spare any cash, we very much encourage you to step up and contribute $25, $50, $100 or even $1,000 today. You can unlock 150K from Twilio.org today and help queer women code by heading to Kickstarter.com/projects/lesbianswhotech/1550731691.

Who knows, maybe your support will go towards the education of a young gay woman who will create an app that alerts you to the nearest But I’m A Cheerleader screening in your area! Technology must be harnessed for good!