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Latinas in Tech nonprofit works to change underrepresentation in STEM jobs
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DENVER — Even though Latinos make up one of the largest shares of the tech-using market, they’re still underrepresented in the workplaces creating those products.

Latinos are at the forefront of technology adoption. Nielson reports that Latinos are buying new technology and spending more time on social platforms than other groups. And yet, Latinos only make up just 8% of STEM workers.

A nonprofit called Latinas in Tech is working to change that. With 20 chapters all over the world, their mission is to connect, support and empower Latina women working in tech.

With Colorado becoming a hot spot for tech giants, Latinas in Tech decided to start a chapter here.

“We still notice that we have concerning statistics within the tech industry. And we’re here as a group to help lift each other up,” said Carolina Chavez a Denver chapter leader for Latinas in Tech.

Colorado Voices

The nonprofit working to get more Latinas in tech jobs

Latinas in Tech just started its Colorado chapter and has already seen a lot of success. This is due in large part to the fact that the nonprofit's members come from the same backgrounds as the people they’re trying to reach.

Aimara Rodriguez is a first-generation Honduran American. She has been working in tech for 10 years and is now a platform partnership manager for Adobe's Creative Cloud. Rodriguez is also a Denver chapter leader.

“I’m very proud to say that my dad cut grass growing up and my mom cleaned houses,” said Rodriguez.  

“We have that educational background to support each other and lift each other up to not only break into tech but also once you are into tech, how can we help you continue to move up and develop as a leader within the organization,” added Chavez.

Chavez is an account executive working in technology sales. Most of her family works in the medical field, but Chavez decided she would take a different route.

“I’m someone who likes to stay on my toes; I like constantly having to learn new things and if there’s something I can tell you for a fact is that technology is always changing so I’m never going to be a 100% expert, I’m never going to know everything, and I absolutely love that I have the ability to say that," she said. 

Today’s Latino consumers didn’t transition to the internet; they were raised with it. A 2018 report from Nielsen examined at the online lives of Latino consumers and found that 60% of all Latinos were born or grew up in the internet age.  

As U.S. Hispanics make digital gains and advances at a higher rate than the total market, they are increasingly demanding authentic, culturally relevant content and connections” read the Nielsen report.  

Latinas like Chavez and Rodriguez, who have the same lived experience as the audience big companies are trying to reach, are vital to the success of any new tech product.  

“I find it quite interesting that we’ll have all these meetings and all these debates about products that are trying to go to diversified demographics," Rodriguez said, "but no one in the room, making those decisions, come from the backgrounds that we’re trying to serve."


Sonia Gutierrez is a multimedia journalist with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at soniagutirrez@rmpbs.org

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