Latinas Rising with Technology.
By Marisa Rivera.
As good as technology is, it is also another hurdle for women, especially Latinas. Women represent 24 percent of the STEM workforce, but only 3 percent of Latinas are represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, fields. (Center for American Progress: The State of Latinas in the U.S.).
Almost every new job today requires the use of technology. I asked Juliana Del Pozo, a young Latina Civil Engineer working at a national contracting company in Washington, D.C., building roads, bridges and tunnels, how we can get more Latinas interested in the STEM fields. She acknowledges a good foundation in math starting at an early age is paramount to the success of completing a Bachelor of Science degree. After-school programs and internships gave her the opportunity to explore the field and build confidence. Having a strong cheerleader and a guiding mentor like her mother Gloria Del Pozo, who was always by her side and instilled in her the discipline and responsibility for her future is also very important to her.
“Having the courage to work and speak up in a male dominated field is part of the challenge, but also a very rewarding experience once you are respected by your co-workers.”
She also advises us to; “Belief in Yourself and be a self-starter, ask questions and keep learning new trades. Do not allow your fear to paralyze you, use it to challenge you.”
Juliana uses technology on the job every day to be more effective and complete daily contracting reports, drawings, takes pictures, and uses many engineering and construction machinery.
The future of work has never been more uncertain and more exciting than it is right now. Many of the positions of the future have not been developed yet. We must support after-school programs, such as Girls who code, Code Like a Girl, Latinas in STEM, CODeLLA and organizations like, Latinas in Technology and Latinas Think Big as we grow the number of Latinas in Technology.
I grew up without cell phones, computers, internet, iPads, headphones, microwaves and many of the gadgets we currently use daily. Technology has transformed our lives, and the world is at our fingertips because of technology. Technology has also affected the way we work. With technology average workers are almost twice as productive as workers 30 years ago. Today, just about everything can be accomplished on a screen, whether at a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Marisa Blake, a bilingual voiceover professional, can record, edit, add music, and connect with clients and engineers thousands of miles away and around the world in real time using technology platforms to complete projects such as, radio and TV commercials, audiobooks, videos games, e-learning training programs and more! Her talent and gift is her voice, but the tools she uses are what makes her gift profitable. From the microphone, to the audio interface, to the computer, to the editing software and to live connections such as Skype and Source Connect she is able to connect her home studio to studios around the globe and transmit a professional, broadcast ready sound.
Technology is changing at the speed of light. We must be willing and able to learn it and use it effectively to market ourselves. Women are the lead adaptors and users of technology, but we must rise to become the lead Jefas, innovators and creators of technology. Let’s do it!
Marisa Rivera is president of Mpowerment Works, a motivational speaker, executive coach and leadership and empowerment consultant. [email protected].
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