Latinas in Technology Breaking Down Barriers
According to Forbes, only 2% of 28.8% of the U.S women workforce in the tech industry are Latina. Latinas in Tech is an organization connecting, empowering, and providing resources to Latinas in or joining the tech industry. Let’s get more Latinas in technology and/or in STEM already to get more Latinas into the STEM field. Already in STEM, you can join the Latinas in Tech summit on May 18th by purchasing a ticket here.
“From my point of view, we need so many more Latinas in tech. And the more Latinas we have in tech, the more opportunities open up for businesses to make more money and have a bigger customer base and more diversity in the products they offer,” Vanessa Cardona said. A Latina and Principal Product Manager at Fast Radius. A company specializing in cloud manufacturing and digital supply chains.
Before working at Fast Radius, and as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, Cardona worked as a Spa Supervisor at The Peninsula, a chain of luxury hotels.
“We were trained to like treat them like guests in our homes. And so we started conversations. I learned really valuable skills there, to not being intimidated by anyone, no matter what it was, and how to make people comfortable quickly. And that was a good foundation for me. Because tech can get a little scary” Cardona said.
Cardona never thought she would enter the tech world, but once seeing bits and pieces of it in her daily life, she has chosen to learn more about it and become part of a growing workforce of Latinas in technology. She pivoted into a technology career.
“If you would have asked me at the beginning of my career, ‘are you passionate about tech?’ I would have said, ‘No.’ I can’t code, I don’t like math. Once I saw how tech and building products can help solve so many problems. There’s so much opportunity here. And it’s changing so quickly.“
During her time working for various tech companies, she has noticed the lack of diversity in high executive positions.
“In my own experience, in customer service, I was around a lot of women and a lot of women of color. You can notice it right away. As I moved up in my career, and in tech, it got wider. And then it became more male-dominated. The leaders I work with at my level in tech are like 90% white males. It’s obvious. You can’t hide it. I am ready, and I wish that we can bring other Latinas in. I want to be in the room where I look around, and they are all Latina and WOC,” Cardona said.
View this post on Instagram
For Latinas and WOC who are looking to join the tech world, Cardona says to be brave.
“Be curious. Ask a lot of questions. Do a lot of research, even if it’s intimidating. I think of web three right now, and everyone is talking about it. I think it is a great opportunity. If someone just started researching and becoming an expert. Always ask for help. Especially, if you see other Latinas or other WOC that are doing what you want to do. Any day of the week, I’ll respond to someone who is like, ‘Hey, I just need a little bit of advice here.’I will make the time to talk to them. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just put yourself out there.” Cardona said.
One of Cardona’s aspirations is to be a CEO at a diverse company.
“My dream is to be a CEO of a big company and to be in a room filled with other Latinas and WOC. Where my leaders look like me, and they have their perspectives. Hopefully, I’ll get there someday.“