Latin American Women in IT
IT Tips & Insights: A QA Engineer based in Honduras discusses her journey as a Latin American woman navigating the field of IT.
By Andrea Medina, QA Manual Engineer
As a Latin American woman in the tech industry, the challenge is to open up the industry to you. I come from one of the most violent, underdeveloped, and sexist countries in the Americas. In Honduras, women are often the head of the family, and it is still very misogynistic.
Stepping in and finding the right job to improve our future is a huge struggle, with barriers that include language, access to technology, and access to education, to name a few. These challenges reduce the number of women who choose technology-focused careers.
Pursuing a Career in IT
When I chose my career, I knew it would not be easy. Some university professors treat women differently than men, and in some cases, they don’t think you’re good enough to work in a “man’s career.” There are many factors that cause women to give up, and things that feel like “filters” to filter applicants. I saw some girls change careers because they felt less intelligent … and that was just the first obstacle.
As women, we must be stronger than that, fueled by curiosity and the desire to create. When I chose computerer science, the decision was met with skepticism and suspicion. Despite societal expectations, I strive to pursue my dreams, knowing that my passion for IT will guide me through the challenges ahead. Women must fearlessly follow their passion despite the obstacles.
In some of my first interviews I heard comments like “we don’t hire women,” “women are too complicated,” “are you sure you are ready to do this type of work?,” etc. I was still young and full of energy. When I started working, I had the opportunity to meet many women from different countries and cultures, and I realized that women often face obstacles — and not only in Latin America. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is immigrant syndrome, where we are tempted to stay hidden to dim our light.
Breaking Down Barriers
A digital revolution is taking place in Latin America, where technological advances are shaping industries and changing societies. However, it is important to understand that women often face barriers and stereotypes when entering the IT industry. We refuse to be defined by these limitations. We are breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings, showing that our expertise and contributions are necessary for the growth of the industry.
The IT industry thrives on diversity, creativity, innovation and unique perspectives. By embracing diversity, we create a more inclusive and dynamic environment that fosters development. Latin America is a diverse region, and we need to capitalize on this strength by encouraging more women from diverse backgrounds to join the IT workforce. Together we can create a better future for everyone.
Finding Support and Guidance
One of the key factors in my success in IT is the support and guidance I received along the way. Women should support and uplift each other by sharing information, experiences and guidance. Mentoring programs, networking events, and support groups can provide a supportive environment where women can thrive and overcome the challenges they face.
As women working in IT, we not only blaze our own trails, but also pave the way for future generations. Our commitment is to create opportunities for young girls and women to explore their interest in technology and provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. By leading and encouraging the next generation, we ensure that the IT sector becomes more diverse, inclusive, and representative of our society.
My journey as a woman working in IT in Latin America has been both challenging and rewarding. I am proud to be part of an industry that is shaping the future and driving innovation. Together we break down barriers, nurture our passions, embrace diversity, and support each other. By doing so, we are creating a future where women in IT not only succeed but also inspire countless others to follow their dreams and make their mark in this exciting field.
I am a computer systems engineer from Central America with more than 10 years of experience in various IT areas such as development, database administration, independent consultant, and systems analysis, among others. Currently, I work as a QA engineer with experience in OTT platforms, mobile applications, and web.
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