20 Apr Laboratoria, Lima (PER)
Lima-based Laboratoria teaches young women from Lima’s slums how to create digital products, aiming to provide these women with a job in the emerging Peruvian technology scene.
The main objective for Laboratoria’s founders Mariana, Herman, and Rodulfo is to break through the reigning paradigm that people that don’t have access to resources, have to be taught simple things out of charity. Instead, Laboratoria educates young female leaders that have the required technical and personal skills to play a successful role in the new economy.
Every 6 months, a new group of about 45 young women enters the programme, after being selected via an extensive application process. This process consists of 3 steps: an online intelligence assessment, followed by a group assignment, and a 1-on-1 session. During the process, Laboratoria collaborates closely with psychologists.
The 6-month programme is a 5 days a week, 9am-6pm, full-time programme. Some of the girls travel for 3,5 hours to get to the office – and 3,5 hours to get back home, each day. Some of them are single teenage mums. Some of them have challenging backgrounds.
However, all of them are committed to succeed, no matter what.
After having finished the programme, Laboratoria aims on finding a job opportunity for every participant. Either as an employed developer within Laboratoria, or at an collaborating technology company, or as a freelancer.
In 2014, Laboratoria won Telefónica’s prestigious Kunan competition and corresponding grant. Moreover, the programme is sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Telefónica, IBM, NEST, SAP, and CONCITEC. This year, it is opening similar programmes in Santiage de Chile and Mexico DF.