San Francisco, CA, October 21, 2015 – Toptal, the world’s leading network of elite freelance software developers, today announced Toptal Scholarships for Female Developers, a program to support and empower women aspiring to become professional software engineers. As part of its commitment towards forming the strongest core engineering teams and engineering talent network possible, Toptal is welcoming women from across the world of any education level to apply to win one of 12 scholarships over the next year. Winners will receive a $5,000 scholarship and weekly one-on-one technical training and mentorship from a Toptal senior software engineer to help them pursue their goals as future professional software engineers.
“Countless studies have shown that teams with a greater diversity of backgrounds and opinions consistently perform better and drive more innovation. This is something with which we’re intimately familiar at Toptal. Our core team and engineering network members come from all over the world and all walks of life,” said Toptal COO and Co-Founder Breanden Beneschott. “We’re extremely intent on building the most innovative, talented network in the world, and building a more gender diverse community is critical towards being able to accomplish that.”
Scholarship winners will be able to use the money in any way that helps them pursue their ambitions to become future software engineers. Example uses include everything from helping to pay for tuition at MIT, to covering the cost of Coursera courses, to paying themselves salary while they work on open source or start-up endeavors.
“In today’s tech industry, quality education can come from so many different valuable places, and that’s something that this scholarship really embraces,” said Anna Chiara Bellini, Director of Engineering at Toptal. “Giving winners access to top quality mentorship on topics of their choosing and $5,000 with very few strings attached will really allow them to learn and improve their skills as they prefer, instead of being locked into a rigid educational program.”
Toptal is home to some of the world’s most intelligent and experienced computer scientists, software engineers, and designers, so in addition to the monetary reward, recipients of a Toptal Scholarship will be able to work with dedicated mentors from Toptal’s network, giving them access to a great wealth of knowledge and technical expertise. The Toptal community includes professional engineers and designers across 93+ countries with expertise spanning countless industries and interests. Scholarship winners will work one-on-one with mentors from the network on a weekly basis over the course of an entire year to help them achieve their software engineering goals.
“We’re committed to improving the number of women in our freelance network and across the tech industry. We’re constantly aiming to better help our clients build the best engineering teams in the world, and working towards greater gender diversity is an extremely important step towards that goal,” said Bellini. “We want to better the professional stance of women in technology, and providing women with great mentorship opportunities is a first step in the right direction.”
Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook have released figures showing that women comprise only 16% of the engineering workforce in the technology industry. The gap is even larger when you look at open source, with women making up around just 6% of users on GitHub. Toptal Scholarships are aimed at raising further awareness of this issue and helping to bridge that gap by supporting women aspiring towards a career as software engineers.
To apply for a Toptal Scholarship, applicants must make an open source contribution on GitHub and write a blog post describing the experience, the problems they had to solve, and what they learned from it. To aid applicants who are first-time open source contributors, Toptal has also published a how-to guide to making your first open source contribution on GitHub. Winners will be chosen by a selection committee led by Bellini, and finalists for each month’s award will be invited to interview with the judges directly.
The Toptal Scholarships program follows the Toptal Global Mentors Program, in which Toptal partnered with General Assembly to donate $100,000 to provide scholarships to members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry, and Toptal developers committed $1,000,000 worth of in-kind tutoring and mentorship support to General Assembly students and graduates over the next two years.
About the Scholarships Program
The Scholarships Program starts on October 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EST and the end time for applications is 11:59 p.m. EST on October 14, 2016. Winners will be chosen based on the merit and potential of their application. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law (and not offered in prohibited jurisdictions). Certain eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to the Scholarships Official Rules.
To apply to Toptal Scholarships for Female Developers and for more information about the program, visit https://www.toptal.com/scholarships.
Founded in 2010, Toptal is one the fastest-growing and most innovative companies to emerge from Silicon Valley. With backing from Andreessen Horowitz, Silicon Valley’s famed venture capital firm, Adam D’Angelo, founder of Quora, Ryan Rockefeller, and other investors, Toptal today connects thousands of elite freelance software engineers from around the world to over 2,000 blue chips such as JP Morgan and Pfizer, tech companies such as Airbnb and Zendesk, and numerous startups to provide world-class solutions that meet the most complex and challenging requirements. On track to hit an $80,000,000 annual run rate (ARR) in less than five years since its founding, Toptal’s rapid growth is testimony to exploding client demand and the unmatched quality and reliability of the company’s services.
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