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Diversifying the tech industry for good

March 22, 2023

Ada Developers Academy: Diversifying the tech industry for good
byAlexandra HolieninCommunity

The Developer Nation community takes great pride in collaborating with organisations that contribute to the diverse and inclusive evolution of the software development ecosystem. 

Featured in our blog spotlight today, the Ada Developers Academy whose mission is  to prepare women and gender expansive adults to be software developers while advocating for inclusive and equitable work environments. Ada primarily serves and addresses the needs of Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people. Here is more about Ada as explained by Alexandra Holien, VP of Revenue and Marketing, Deputy Director. 

Nine in ten students, employees, senior HR leaders, and human resources officers surveyed by Accenture in 2019 said that attracting women with tech experience is critical for their company’s success. 

Gender diversity brings substantial benefits to individual companies and the tech economy at large:

  • Bringing more women onto engineering teams directly improves product quality – by reducing problems like algorithmic or design bias, which are made worse by a lack of diversity. Companies with above-average diversity received 45% of their revenue from new products vs. 26% for companies with below-average diversity scores.
  • A study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that greater gender diversity raises tech company share prices. Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform and out-earn the U.S. average (WomenDeliver.org), and tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient than companies run by men, achieving 35% higher ROI and, when venture-backed, 12% higher revenue (Kauffman Foundation). 
  • Companies with inclusive environments nurture innovation and shrink the gender pay gap. A study by the Gallup Organization found that more diverse companies have 22% less employee turnover rate; creating faster, sustainable growth.

Still, many companies struggle to recruit and retain diverse talent – that’s where Ada Developers Academy comes in. 

Our one-year, tuition-free coding school fast-tracks women and gender-expansive* folks into junior software developer roles. Through six months in the classroom and five months in an industry internship with one of our company partners, Ada students build the skills and experience they need to become developers. We know our model works – 94% of our graduates are hired into full-time software engineering jobs within six months of graduation. 

We develop engineers who are highly skilled and collaborative; graduates are experienced in practical, team-based software development and learning new technology rapidly. Our students are highly diverse; all are women or gender-expansive, 72% are people of color, 40% are racial minorities underrepresented in tech (Black, Latine, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander), and 34% are LGBTQIA+. Through our internship program, we help you find your future software developer from our diverse talent pool while also providing inclusive leadership training to managers to build better teams, better tech, and better business.

Our company partners rave about Ada graduates:

“Ada is a great partner that produces professional, and technically skilled women, who have proven successful in a fast-paced, technically challenging environment. Not only have the employees that we have hired through Ada internships continued to grow in their careers, given the strong foundation they started with, but they have all been strong carriers of our core values. They are collaborative, communicative and passionate about their work…I’ve gotten to know a lot of different coding education programs, and Ada continues to be a favourite to work with.”

Zillow 

“Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace is a top priority for Skytap. We know we still have a long way to go, but also recognise, we would not be where we are today without Ada. We have learned a great deal on the importance of having diverse talent and perspectives and ​inclusion in the workplace at all levels. Our organisation absolutely reaps the rewards by having more diversity in thought as we build a great product for our customers.”

Skytap

“The ability to attract outstanding tech talent is one of our greatest challenges. Ada has allowed us to do that while increasing the diversity of our workforce. Our software engineering organization is now 30% percent female — three times the national average. Ada has had a huge positive impact on our work culture. We’ve made improvements in our inclusivity and hiring practices, and it’s awesome to give our male developers the opportunity to work with devs who break the mold and shatter stereotypes.”

EnergySavvy

“After graduating from Ada, I not only successfully entered the industry but also advanced my career more quickly than I ever thought possible. Now, as a CTO, I can create opportunities for so many more people from non-traditional backgrounds, and I’m excited to impact how a whole company thinks about talent.”

Strike Graph CTO and Ada alum

“We want and could employ so many more Ada students.”

Amazon

Ada welcomes companies of all sizes to share in our mission by becoming a partner. We not only partner with tech heavyweights like Amazon, Google, Uber, and Microsoft, but also smaller companies and startups seeking diverse talent. Alexandra Holien, VP of Revenue and Strategy at Ada explains, “Companies are finally seeing the positive impact diversity has on productivity and the bottom line. DEI has steadily and rightfully become a priority for big tech. We are giving them direct access to the most diverse pool of talented coders that will transcend the next generation.” 

After nearly ten years of success in Seattle, Ada began expanding operations across the U.S., starting with Atlanta in 2021 and the greater Washington, D.C. area in 2023. “Our aim in expanding to diverse cities that are beginning to experience tech industry growth is to ensure that the wealth generated by the industry benefits the whole community and not just a select few,” says Ada CEO Lauren Sato. “Coming from Seattle, we have seen how booming tech can push communities out of their city, and we hope to see Atlanta become the first market to grow tech from within.” 

Since our founding in 2013, Ada has served over 1,000 participants and generated $50M in new salaries for women and gender-expansive folks in the tech economy, narrowing gender and racial equity gaps in one of our most prosperous and influential sectors. 

Learn more at www.adadevelopersacademy.org, and contact partnerships-team@adadevelopersacademy.org for information on partnering with us. Follow Ada on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook

*Ada uses a national reference for the term “gender-expansive” (also sometimes called non-binary, non-conforming or genderqueer) and Transgender provided by GLAAD: https://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender  

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