Mariana Costa Checa is the CEO and co-founder of Laboratoria. Inspired by organisations like Black Girls Code, Laboratoria is a social entreprise that is training women in Peru, Chile, Mexico and Brazil with professional skills to succeed in the tech industry.
“Technology is consumed equally by men and women, but if we only have men building that technology, it won’t be able to respond to the needs of women in the same way,” she said in an interview with The Global Americans. “This will result in women living in a world we didn’t design. In order to have better products that can better serve the female half of the population it is crucial to have more women in tech.”
According to the organisation’s website, over 1000 women have empowered in its bootcamps and over 80 percent of its participants have successfully sought employment. Over 400 companies have employed women from the program, with an overall satisfaction rate of 4.5 out of 5.
Mariana is a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, believing that education and career progression is vital for a better society.
“There’s a ton of data on the positive impact of getting women working and building careers,” she elaborated. “They invest more in their children and on the health of their families, which breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty. And I honestly believe the only way to make these changes permanently is to have more women at the design stage of everything we do.”
Before founding Laboratoria, she was a co-founder for the Ayu tech agency in Lima, Peru, a program development manager for TechnoServe, a project coordinator for the Universal Civil Identity Program at the Organization of American States and a development coordinator for Ankay.
In 2015, she was selected by MIT Technology Review as one of the top innovators under 35 in Peru.
She has a bachelor’s in international relations from the London School of Economics and a master’s in public administration in development practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Latin America, STEM