Toptal STEM Scholarships for Women

Toptal supports aspiring female computer scientists, developers, and software engineers to achieve their goals via financial support and mentorship by top professional developers and designers.

Every winner will receive

A $5,000 scholarship to be used towards your educational and professional development goals. You can spend this on anything from coding bootcamps to online programming courses, textbooks, etc.
One-on-One Mentoring
One year of weekly one-on-one mentoring by a Toptal senior developer, who will help you with topics like project guidance, choosing an academic or career path, and preparing for interviews.

Why are we doing this?

make up just
of the engineering

It’s no secret that men outnumber women in the tech industry. Silicon Valley has been the subject of dozens of recent studies on the fact that there are far fewer female computer scientists, engineers, and software developers than there are male. Indeed, according to recent figures released by tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook, women make up around just 16% of the engineering workforce in the technology industry. The gap is even larger when you look at Open Source, with women making up just 6% of users on GitHub.

At Toptal, we know that it makes zero difference what gender you are. We’re a 100% remote company, and we’ve never kept track of gender in our database. There have always been women in our network, and there always will be. However, study after study in the tech industry has shown that achieving greater gender diversity isn’t about ignoring diversity, it’s about actively welcoming it.

Some of the best engineers at Toptal are female.

This isn’t just diversity for its own sake. There are just as many profoundly talented and intelligent women in the world as there are men, and some of the best engineers at Toptal are female. However, if we lack equal female representation on our engineering teams, that means our teams are not as strong as they can be.

And that’s not something we’re ok with. We will all benefit from having more talented women on our teams and in our network.

Toptal is home to some of the world’s most intelligent and talented computer scientists, developers, and software engineers. Toptal’s network includes professional engineers across 93+ countries, with expertise spanning countless industries and interests.

With close guidance from our community, focused training, and financial support, we believe we can empower women aspiring to become top professional software engineers.


Toptal STEM Scholarships for Women are open to anyone who meets the following criteria
13 years or older
This is an international contest.


We’ll be announcing one winner per month for 12 months.
Applications Open
October 21, 2015
First Winner Announced
December 15, 2015
Final Winner Announced
November 15, 2016

How to Apply

1. Make a meaningful contribution to Open Source.
If you’re new to this, read our guide to contributing to Open Source (even if you don’t know how to code) and get started by helping with tasks like documentation, organizing issue lists, etc. Spending time around great developers and reading their code is a great way to learn, and most Open Source projects have amazing contributors who won’t mind helping you get up to speed quickly.
2. Publish a post on your personal blog telling the world about it.
One of the best things you can do to support your career as a professional software engineer is to create a personal technical blog. If you don’t already have one, this is your excuse to get started! Publish a post on your blog explaining the Open Source project you chose, your contributions, the biggest challenges you faced, what you learned from your work, etc. Make the story compelling!
3. Complete the application below.
Click the Apply Now button and answer the questions to complete the application process. You’ll need to link your blog post, so be sure to complete steps 1 and 2 first. For the primary part of the application, you’ll be asked to tell us what your goals are and how winning this fellowship will help you to achieve them, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your answers now.

Past scholarship winners

Rojina Bajrachary
Bhaktapur, Nepal
Rojina is an incredibly motivated Python developer, entrepreneur, and mentor. She is also the co-founder of Girls in Technology, a rapidly growing community of aspiring female engineers women in the Kathmandu area.
Ana Sustic
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ana is a System Administrator and Project Manager at the Blood Transfusion Center of Slovenia. She plans to strengthen her engineering skills so that she can harness technology to improve the workflow of her colleagues.
Gabriela Mancini
Córdoba, Argentina
Gabriela is a freelance designer and former primary school teacher. She aspires to build an educational platform to help students across Argentina learn to read and write online.
Tondi Butler
Cleveland, United States
Tondi is a Health IT Manager and the founder of T.E.A.M.S. Ohio, an amazing non-profit that introduces underprivileged teenagers in Cleveland/Akron to careers in STEM.
Rachell Calhoun
Kalamazoo, Unites States
Rachell is an English teacher living in Seoul, South Korea, who aspires to switch careers and land a position as a full stack developer by the end of this year. She is also the organizer of Django Girls Seoul.
View all winners

Have questions?

If you’re looking for feedback, have any questions about the process, or aren’t sure what to expect, email Our selection committee will be happy to explain any contest details to you!

About Toptal STEM Scholarships for Women

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. This Scholarship Program is subject to the Scholarships Official Rules.

Meet Toptal Developers and Mentors

Toptal is an exclusive network of the most talented freelance software engineers and designers in the world. By winning this scholarship, you’ll get access to direct mentorship from the expert developers and designers in our network. Check out some of their profiles below.