Facebook awards Flatiron School $250,000 to drive diversity in tech

Facebook announced this week it selected Flatiron School to receive $250,000 in scholarships to help women and minorities get the skills they need to get high-paying jobs in the tech field.

At F8, the company’s annual conference for developers, Facebook said proceeds from the event will go to scholarships to help diversify the tech industry. Flatiron School will match Facebook’s donation, bringing the total amount of scholarships to half a million dollars.

“We are committed to supporting underrepresented minorities and women gain the skills they need to become a developer through alternative coding education paths like Flatiron School,” says Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships. “We hope the donation will eliminate a portion of the financial barrier to pursue these paths.”

Flatiron will be using this donation to create the Flatiron + Facebook Breakthrough Scholarship. It will award full scholarships for its 15-week software engineering Immersive at its campuses in New York or Washington, DC as well as its online web developer program. In total, there will be 20 scholarships going to women and other underrepresented groups.

Anyone interested in applying for the scholarships can do so online at the Flatiron School website through June 1.

This is not the first scholarship money coming from Facebook. Earlier this month, Facebook’s Community Boost initiative awarded full scholarships to 25 students in the Houston area.

Flatiron School has been committed to serving underrepresented groups since its founding through programs like the Fellowship Program for low-income students. Founder Adam Enbar said they worked hard to make sure Flatiron School didn’t become an elite institution.

“We knew that to be really be impactful, we had to make it more accessible,” said Enbar. “Education shouldn’t just be for those who can afford it.”

In the past year, 45 percent of Flatiron School’s in-person students have taken advantage of scholarships.

And with programs like Women Take Tech, Flatiron School has committed nearly $2 million in scholarships. In its online classes, close to 50 percent of its students are women.

“We’ve proven that it’s possible to get women into tech,” says Kristi Riordan, chief operating officer at Flatiron School. “But you have to put in the extra effort to let them know about the opportunities out there.”

WeWork acquired Flatiron School in 2017. With partnerships with 2U (an online education platform that streamlines access to graduate-level courses at top universities) and SoFi (which helps people save money by refinancing their student loans), WeWork is committed to make learning a lifelong process.