A few years ago, we started a web development agency in Lima. We were three rookie entrepreneurs trying to figure out what to do, but against all odds, we started doing quite well. Every month we landed new projects, so we had to start building our own software development team. We went out in search of developers all around Lima, just to realize it would be a much more difficult task than we thought.
Technology builders were apparently a rare breed, and women in this space seemed to be on their way to extinction. Soon we started asking ourselves why. The answer was simple: decades of stereotypes telling us that this is no space for women, and an education system that has yet to figure out how to adapt to the rapid pace of change in tech.
In a somewhat narcotic episode of overconfidence, we decided to start Laboratoria to address both issues.
After a few setbacks, we designed a unique learning experience. Not specifically because of its content or infrastructure, but mostly because it brings together incredibly talented women willing to fight for a better future. We built a place where beyond learning coding or design, our students come to build shared dreams that make everything possible. Inspired by their strength, we went out to show the best companies in town that although our societies have made us think that the only way to assess professional value is through a university degree, in today’s and tomorrow’s world, skills are much more important than diplomas.
With their first professional steps, our graduates showed companies that we could be a great source of talent for their tech teams, and so we began working with leading organizations to ease the pain of finding such talent. We helped hundreds of companies change how their tech teams look and work, transforming them into an example of diversity and inclusion. After earning their trust, we started working with these same companies to train their teams and speed up the pace of digital transformation, driving the growth of a sector that represents endless opportunities for our graduates and our region.
In the journey of reaching thousands of students we’ve come to realize that having more women designing and building technology today is the best way to ensure that we, women, are also part of designing our world’s future. And we are certain a future co-designed by women and men will be a better future for humanity. Today our dream is becoming a reality. We are changing the rules of the game and building a competitive, diverse and inclusive tech sector that can create opportunities for more people, transforming Latin America’s productive base and preparing our region to succeed in a knowledge economy. This is our contribution, and we could not be any prouder.
2018 was an amazing year of learnings and accomplishments and through this annual report, we want to share more of it. It is also an opportunity to deeply thank all of those organizations and people who have supported us along the way. You know who you are — without you, our work and impact would not be possible.
We hope you enjoy it!