Empowering Women in Tech – Essay Scholarship By Designli

A $3,000 essay scholarship for young women aspiring to be business leaders in technology

Designli is excited to award a $3,000 scholarship to a female high school, college, or graduate student from the U.S. interested in technology and entrepreneurship. While we have the privilege of working with many amazing female entrepreneurs and are successful in no small part due to the women working within our own company, we recognize that women are underrepresented in the field of technology and want to do our part to change that. Greater diversity of perspectives breeds more innovative ideas, so in our minds, creating more opportunities for women in technology is a no-brainer.

In 1,000 words, tell us what motivates and inspires you to pursue a career in technology or as an entrepreneur, and discuss the challenges, benefits, and opportunities for women in technology.

Essay: Why technology needs more female entrepreneurs

Choose a prompt

You’re welcome to use the following questions to help spark your creativity, but you aren’t required to answer them.

  1. In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues facing the tech industry today, and how can female entrepreneurs help address these issues?
  2. How do you see technology benefiting from more female entrepreneurs, and what unique perspectives and skills can they bring to the field?
  3. More than half of startups in the US have no women on the team. Why do you think there is a lack of female representation in the tech industry, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship?
  4. In the technology industry, it’s challenging to get females in, to get them to stay once they’re in, and to then get them into positions of leadership. Why do you think this is the case, and how can each of these challenges be overcome?
  5. How have female entrepreneurs made a significant impact in the tech industry in recent years, and what lessons can we learn from their success stories?

Make it personal

  1. What do you hope to accomplish in the tech industry as a female entrepreneur, and how do you plan to inspire and empower other women to do the same?
  2. What challenges have you faced as a young woman interested in pursuing a career in tech, and how have you overcome them?
  3. Women business founders and business leaders we interviewed, like DidiNicoleKenzie, and Shontavia, all mentioned character traits that helped them succeed in their careers. Optimism, fearlessness, resilience, and inquisitiveness are among the traits they mention. What qualities do you see in yourself that are crucial to thriving as a female entrepreneur and how so?

About Designli

As a software development company that began as a college startup, we’re passionate about encouraging young entrepreneurs. We believe that the diversity of perspectives is crucial for the growth and progress of any industry and have experienced firsthand the value women in leadership bring to technology and entrepreneurship. We created the Empowering Women in Tech Scholarship to invest in young women because we’re certain their success in the tech industry will lead to new and innovative ideas that bring a better future for everyone. For us, that’s an exciting possibility and a worthy investment.

Eligibility & Requirements

This application is open to female high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students. Due to complexities with international funding, we will only consider submissions from U.S. citizens.

Please specify your intended field of study and your current grade or degree level within your application. We also request either proof of college acceptance or a high school transcript at the time of submission.

We’d love to know your future goals and why you deserve this scholarship, so we’re asking you to provide a brief biography of no more than 250 words with your application. We will not assess this bio in our submission evaluation, but it will help us better understand your career goals.

Your submission will not be considered if it does not include the following:

  • A short bio with your intended field of study and education level
  • Proof of education
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship (valid address)
  • A 1,000-word essay

Scholarship Guidelines Regarding the Use of AI

AI-powered tools can be valuable for research and outlining your scholarship submission. However, to ensure fairness and showcase your own voice, AI should not be used as the primary author of your work.
  • Transparency:  If you use AI tools, please cite the specific tools used within your submission. Clearly indicate the sections where AI was used to assist you (e.g., generating ideas, outlining, etc.).
  • Fact-checking:  AI may provide inaccurate or outdated information. It is your responsibility to carefully fact-check any information, including statistics,  sourced from AI tools.
  • Originality and Creativity: Submissions that appear to be primarily or completely written by AI will be disqualified. We value your unique perspective, insights, and writing style.


Your essay will be evaluated by these four criteria:

  1. Originality–overall uniqueness
  2. Creativity–a blend of imagination and great ideas
  3. Quality–superb execution
  4. Competency–good composition and clear, engaging communication

Only submit your own work. Plagiarism is the opposite of innovation, and stolen work will be eliminated. This includes content that was created with AI tools like ChatGPT–sorry! This is your story–it’s uniquely valuable and we want to hear it. No one can tell a story better than the one who has lived it, so stick to telling your story and no one else’s. If you do reference the work of another individual, please use a citation.

Application Details

  • Email your application to scholarship@designli.co
  • Use your essay title for the email subject line.
  • Include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and short bio within the email.
  • You may either upload your essay file directly to the email or share a link.

Submission Deadlines

November 30, 2024: Submissions due by 11:59 p.m. EST

December 15, 2024: Winner selected

The scholarship winner will be notified by December 18th, 2024, via email and featured on our scholarship page. Before receiving funds, the winner will be required to provide proof of acceptance to a college or university. All scholarship funds will be sent directly to the winner’s school.

We’re confident your story will inspire others, and we think it’s worth sharing. But Designli will not publish, use, or distribute any student submissions without prior written consent.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this scholarship. If you’d like to learn more about Designli, read Our Why.

Previous Winners

Adrianna Relay HeadshotThe 2023 winner of Designli's Women in Tech Scholarship is Adrianna Relay. Adrianna was accepted to the incoming freshman class at Florida Atlantic University for a start in the fall of 2024. She wrote an essay about the importance – and challenges – of being a woman in tech. She has shown an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age while also excelling in high school and competitive gymnastics. As a high school student, Adrianna did excellent work to provide a better standard of childcare for children with special needs. She has a vision of leveraging technology to continue her work, and Designli is honored to support her education.