We caught up with Marisol Alarcón, Chief Partnerships Officer at Laboratoria, a Peru-based NGO that works “for thousands of women in Latin America to develop careers in tech that will change their future, while making the industry more diverse”. Laboratoria won the Skills Category of the EQUALS in Tech Awards in 2018. Read on to find out what’s new at Laboratoria.
EQUALS: How was the rest of your year (after winning the EQUALS in Tech Award)?
Laboratoria: 2018 was an exciting year for us as we reached 1,000 graduates! We can proudly say that the tech industry in Latin America is looking much more diverse and inclusive, becoming a source of opportunity for a significant number of women in the region. Eighty per cent of our
graduates started great jobs in tech within six months of graduating. We’ve helped our
graduates nearly triple their income.
EQUALS: What new projects did you embark on in 2019?
Laboratoria: We’ve had very successful calls for applicants. Between January and July, we had over 5,000 applicants from all over Latin America. Of the students who enrolled in 2019, 238 have already graduated.
Our training programme has truly become more than a boot camp. Our students and team commit themselves for six months, challenging themselves to learn more than they thought possible. They become self-learners and team players, become flexible workers, and form bonds that help them shine and dream big.
We worked hard to launch a strong Laboratorian Alumnae. Our mission is to promote the professional growth and positive impact of the Laboratorians around the world based on continuous learning, support and companionship, career growth and impact. In March 2019, the alumnae community organized of a huge hackathon titled #HackeandoLaDesigualdad (#HackingInequality). This event both celebrated the fact that we reached 1,000 graduates last year and served as a formal inauguration of the alumnae group itself.
More than 300 Laboratoria graduates from our five training centres connected simultaneously to develop the best solutions to reduce gender inequalities.
EQUALS: How else have graduates continued to benefit from Laboratoria’s work?
Laboratoria: Our graduates continue to find wonderful opportunities both in their home countries and abroad. The Inter-American Development Bank has opened their doors to our graduates, providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate their talent as interns on the tech teams in Washington, D.C. We have had 10 graduates participate so far, and seven of them even received extended contracts!
EQUALS: Do you have anything else you would like to update us on?
Laboratoria: For International Labour Day, We received the distinction of the Order of Merit from the Peruvian Government's Ministry of Labour for International Labour Day. Winning this award inspired us to continue building a more diverse, inclusive and competitive digital economy that creates opportunities for all people in Peru and throughout Latin America.
We are also excited to announce that we have renewed and broadened our collaboration with BlackRock, Citi Foundation and JP Morgan.
We are grateful to all the people who have worked so hard to make this happen!
Photos by Laboratoria