Building the digital skills young women in Latin America need to thrive in tech

With or without diplomas, most of our youth enters inactivity or informal jobs, and women are the most affected.

Latin America's talent is not being properly trained for the jobs of today

30 million youth in Latin America are NEETs (not in education, employment or training) and 76% of them are women.

(OECD 2017)

More than 2/3s of our youth are considered low skilled (without college, university of high technical education).

(OECD 2017)

Studying does not guarantee a bright future. Less than 20% of women in the region transition from studying to formal jobs.

(OECD 2017)

Most companies in Latin America can’t find the workforce with the skills they need. This becomes even harder for companies undergoing digital transformation.

Without skilled talent, companies can't get ready for the future

With 50% of formal firms unable to find sufficient skilled workers, our region has the world’s widest gap between the available pool of skills and those demanded by firms.

(OECD 2017)

While 90% of the CEOs surveyed believe digital transformation is important, only 15% believe they have enough personnel with the skills necessary.

(IDT Global Survey 2017)

By 2019 there will be +450K unfilled tech jobs in Latin America. Women will be specially needed to bring diversity to this field, where they are a minority today.

(IDC 2017)

This is how we started...

Back in 2014, we were a web agency called Ayu. With many hurdles in the process, we were able to build our tech team, which end up being 100% male. Without planning for it, this lack of female developers in the world became our own personal pain. The magic of entrepreneurship is that when you truly feel the pain, you have no option but to try and solve it. So our game plan was to see if we could train female developers ourselves to hire in our web agency, and focus particularly on women who had not been able to access higher education due to economic constraints. Could we transform our agency into a source of opportunity for young women who needed a hand to show their talent for tech? Yes we could! And when we proved it was possible, we decided to do it not only for our web agency, but for all companies looking for diverse tech talent. 

In Laboratoria we are changing this reality.

Founders Laboratoria

There are 3 pillars that support our impact.  

Our impact model

1. Seleccion process 

Any woman can apply to Laboratoria. Through a series of questions and interviews, we identify those who truly need Laboratoria’s opportunity for social mobility. Then, through a selection process that includes exams, pre-work and real class dynamics, we collect +600 data points to identify those applicants with potential for technology. In the last 3 years +7.500 women have applied to Laboratoria and our latest acceptance rate was 9% (average of 2017-II cohorts in Peru, Mexico and Chile).

2. Bootcamp training 

Our 6 month bootcamp starts with a common core and finishes with 2 specializations: Front-End development and UX design. Developers learn JavaScript, HTML, CSS and highly demanded tools as React framework. UX Designers graduate with a unique profile that combines coding with UX skills. Moreover, through our agile classroom methodology, students learn the culture they need to perform on agile teams, they grow their mindset and they gain important team skills needed at work. In Laboratoria, they also find a new family of women who support each other to start their careers in tech. In the last 3 years +580 students have graduated from Laboratoria (+820 on April 18). 

3. Talent placement 

We connect our students with hiring companies through our own TalentApp and Talent Fest hackathons, where companies give real challenges to our students to solve in 36 hours and leverage on the event to identify and hire talent. Only those students connected with jobs pay for the program. Employers also pay to hire in Laboratoria, as they value the quality of the talent and the hiring process. In our last cohort we were able to place +80% of our students in tech jobs that tripled their income in average. 

Applicants to Laboratoria

We are working to become the leading source of female tech talent from Latin America to the world, transforming the future of thousands of women and the companies that employ them.