United Way Greater Toronto Logo***IDRF, with the generous support of The United Way Greater Toronto & Women United, is excited to launch Year 3 of Women Learning to Code & Take Leadership! We encourage you to learn more about our program and if you are a young woman between the ages of 18-29, that meets the eligibility criteria, to apply in the next round of classes. We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2020 sessions ***

Our Challenge

Tech is not only the fastest growing sector in the world, it is the industry that has the most prominent influence in shaping our lives. Yet those working in the digital space must confront one of its primary challenges: its gender imbalance. Women make up only 20% of individuals employed in tech and are even less likely to hold executive positions. One of the root causes that has led to this gap are the low numbers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in academics, with female graduates earning only 30% of degrees in STEM disciplines.

Our Solution

This year we will train a select cohort of young women ages 18-29 from groups under-represented in Tech in Introduction to Web Development, a course that teaches participants Ruby, HTTP, HTML & CSS, as they start their journey in code. IDRF will also award five full-paid scholarships to those that demonstrate the aptitude and technical skills in code to a 12-week Web Development Bootcamp that prepares them for careers as Full-Stack Developers.

In addition, participants will also have the option to enroll in Salesforce’s ADM 201 Certification program, which provides them with the knowledge and skills to become Certified Salesforce Administrators. This program is made possible thanks to IDRF’s partnership with The Rainbow Cloud Initiative

Our Approach

To remove common barriers in Tech, all courses in our program are free with no costs to the participants. All our students are beginners! With no previous knowledge of web development required, participants learn together at a pace that makes coding fun and accessible. We also emphasize leadership development and teach young women to see themselves as change-makers in the Digital space.

To hear from a past graduate, please enjoy this video of Libin Mohamed, who not only learned to code but gained a strong sense of confidence and feeling of empowerment.


When do the classes take place?

IDRF offers two cohorts for Introduction to Web Development: one in August and a second in October (dates to be determined). The course lasts 5 weeks and classes take place 2 nights per week, online. Each class is 3 hours and likely occur on weeknights or Saturday afternoon.

Applicants admitted into Web Development Bootcamp will undergo at 12-week training program at Lighthouse Labs. Classes run five days a week; however, due to program demands participants are expected to dedicate additional hours during evenings and weekends.

The Salesforce ADM 201 Certification program is 5 days of in-person training or 2 weeks of online training.  One course will be offered in September and another in November. Participants are also required to pass a certification exam.

Who is eligible for the program?

Women ages 18-29 years of age are eligible to apply to this program. This program is intended for individuals facing barriers to the employment market and gives priority to those unemployed and underemployed (may have a post-secondary education but have not secured full-time, permanent employment in their field). IDRF encourages applications from young women from racialized backgrounds, newcomers, residents from priority neighborhoods and individuals facing student loan debt.

Please note that applicants that live outside the Greater Toronto Area are not eligible. Further, this program is not for established professionals looking to switch careers into Tech.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

All decisions will be made by Tuesday July 21st. Please note that only those accepted into the program will be contacted. IDRF cannot provide updates on your application.

Applications are now CLOSED!

The deadline to submit an application is Friday July 17th. We thank everyone for their interest, however only those admitted into the program will be contacted.

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