Hacking Inequality: Female Leadership in the Digital World
WHAT I LIVE FOR
Mariana Costa studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Public Administration at Columbia University in New York. She founded Laboratoria in 2014 with the idea of turning the growing technology sector into a source of opportunity for more young women in Peru and elsewhere in Latin America. Since then, she has consolidated this social initiative which trains young women without access to quality higher education as web developers and hooks them up with companies that need their talent. The path has been intense, filled with challenges, achievements and learning experiences that constantly enhance the impact of the program. In 2015 Laboratoria is training 130 young women in Peru, Mexico and Chile as web designers. In the first graduating class of 30 students, more than 65% found work and tripled their income. Over the next three years the goal is to train 1,000 such women, giving them the tools to begin a career with options for upward mobility in the digital industry and thus the possibility of improving their standard of living in a sustainable way. Laboratoria is the second startup that Mariana has undertaken along with her founding partners, Rodulfo and Herman. First came Ayu, a software development and digital innovation workshop held in Lima. She has also worked for organizations such as the Organization of American States and TechnoServe on social development projects in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Peru and Kenya. She is a firm believer in the idea that social entrepreneurship is the way to bring together the best of two worlds.