Commentary: Have You Heard of Latinas in Tech?

“We are engineers, cybersecurity experts, data scientists, business development leaders, public relations professionals, sales professionals, journalists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, investors, marketing professionals, recruiters and everything surrounding the tech ecosystem.”

This commentary was written by Cruz Nieto, a co-founder and board member of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of Latinas in Tech. Nieto is the director of the Project Management Office in the California Secretary of State’s Office.

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Cruz Nieto
Latinas in Tech (LiT) is a nonprofit organization with the aim to create a tech industry where Latinas are well-represented throughout all levels of the ecosystem by empowering them to be innovators and leaders.

Our mission is to provide the resources, opportunities and community Latinas need to thrive, innovate and lead in tech. The group began in Silicon Valley in 2014 and has since expanded to a large number of cities around the world.

The Sacramento Valley Chapter was launched in May 2018 and has received support from technologists in both the public and private sectors.

LiT covers the full tech ecosystem. We are engineers, cybersecurity experts, data scientists, business development leaders, public relations professionals, sales professionals, journalists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, investors, marketing professionals, recruiters and everything surrounding the tech ecosystem.

Latinas are the least represented group, with just 1 percent in tech, and although we do not deny the diversity and inclusion problem that we face at the moment, our focus is on the opportunities that we can tackle in order to grow and take an executive seat. We work hand in hand with top technology companies to create safe spaces for learning, mentorship and recruitment.

This year, LiT hosted the Latinas in Tech Summit, where over 1,000 Latinas joined the most powerful network for landing tech jobs and growing tech careers. This two-day event began with opening remarks by Sen. Alex Padilla, who highlighted the importance of diversity in technology in support of critical functions and services to California residents. (See Padilla’s full remarks here.)

The LiT Sacramento Chapter proudly curated the “How to Improve Work-Life” workshop featuring Cathryn Rivera, appointments secretary for Gov. Gavin Newsom; and Monica Barrios, chief of the Statewide Technology Procurement Branch of the California Department of Technology. The moderator was Cruz Nieto, director of the Project Management Office for the California Secretary of State’s Office. (You can connect with the Sacramento Valley Chapter on Facebook.)

This year, LiT included the Inaugural Latinas in Tech Startup Competition aimed at discovering, supporting and amplifying tech startups with the objective to source Latina talent from all over the world. Our ultimate goal is to catalyze the growth of recently founded startups that are determined to become billion-dollar companies.

So now that you know what LiT is all about, I want to share how you can help this nationwide organization.

Are you a recruiter, Latina or ally? Join the LiT community.

Are you an employer looking to support and diversify your workforce? Go to latinasintech.org and create an employer profile to reach thousands of LiT members about opportunities available within your organization. Increase your talent pipeline through LiT’s Talent Pool. Promote your job listing with the LiT Jobs Board!

Are you a technology company interested in hosting an event? Or are you a Latina who’s interested in speaking at an upcoming Sacramento Chapter event? Contact Sacramento Chapter leaders Cruz Nieto, Monica Barrios or Veronica Gilliard via LinkedIn.

For more information about the nationwide organization, including the wait list for the 2022 Summit, upcoming events and the member report, visit the Latinas in Tech website.