A year ago, I was honored to continue my professional career path in a new position with Women Who Code (WWCode) as the first Individual Giving Manager at the female-founded tech nonprofit. It has been 12 months of front-row access to the unique ecosystem comprising the global tech community. What has been clear is the global tech community has an abiding desire to support each other and ultimately support the world as a whole through the practiced talents of engineers.
As Individual Giving Manager at WWCode, I help connect people, foundations, and companies with the mission, and together, we find the best solution for them to provide support. WWCode is on a mission to empower diverse women to excel in tech careers. The need is there. Despite making up 50% of the population, women only account for a quarter of the tech workforce, the numbers drop further when assessing women in senior positions or leadership.
80% of women shared that they love their jobs in science, engineering, and technology. Despite this, they are still 45% more likely to leave their job in these industries when compared to their male peers. Many of these women listed barriers such as isolation from the “boys club,” biased performance reviews, and an absence of mentors or sponsors in the workplace as reasons they leave.
WWCode was created to help retain those women and show them pathways to upscale their careers in tech, with training, mentorship, and community at the core. In fact, 80% of WWCode members reported that WWCode positively impacted their careers. Along the way, WWCode has connected with individuals, foundations, and companies who believe in the mission and support a more diverse tech workforce where women and historically excluded people thrive at every level.
In December 2022, the Proton community joined the ranks of WWCode supporters. You may be familiar with Proton if you, like millions around the world, desire an email service that puts privacy and security at the forefront. For five years, Proton has hosted the popular Proton Lifetime Account Charity Raffle. Proton offers ten exclusive and highly sought-after Proton Lifetime accounts, which give access to the highest subscription plan for all existing and future Proton products. The 2022 raffle raised a record-breaking $784,670, which was split ten ways for ten deserving charities, including Women Who Code.
Proton CEO, Andy Yen, shared how recipients were chosen.
Recipients of grants are always nominated by the Proton community, and WWCode was among more than 600 organizations nominated this year. We believe empowering women to enter STEM and become more active in cybersecurity ultimately leads to a better internet. We saw an example of this in Iran, where tech-savvy young women led a protest movement by widely leveraging privacy tools like Proton VPN, which was ultimately downloaded by millions of Iranians. We look forward to working with WWCode to continue to advance the mission that we started when we originally launched Proton Mail back in 2014.
[At Proton], we know that the work to create a better world goes beyond us, and that's why over the years, we have contributed over $2M to non-profit organizations that align with Proton's values and advance privacy, freedom, and equality. In our annual charity fundraiser, we only support organizations that have been carefully vetted to make sure they are effective, efficient, and impactful. Organizations have ranged from the largest independent press organization in Belarus to humanitarian organizations supporting activists in Hong Kong who have been imprisoned, so we are also not constrained by geography.
WWCode wants to thank Proton, and all of our donors from our ten-year history, for their support of our mission and the community of women impacted.
If you would like to become a WWCode supporter, visit our website to make an online donation, A recurring monthly donation of $27 helps provide WWCode membership for 12 women every year. To learn more, contact Individual Giving Manager Molly Devine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A note about Proton from the CEO, Andy Yen:
[At Proton], we believe a better world starts with privacy. This belief guides every decision we make, and it is why we are committed to always providing a free version of Proton Mail encrypted email, along with free versions of all our other privacy services. We believe everyone in the world should have access to a private, secure, and free Internet without discrimination. Our journey began in 2014 when ten thousand people believed in our cause and chose to support the development of our encrypted email service, Proton Mail, through a record-setting crowdfunding campaign. In eight years, the Proton community has grown to millions of people, many of whom have directly contributed to Proton's evolution. In many ways, Proton is built by the community, for the community.