Focus on: Maitetxu Larraechea, Executive Director of Girls In Tech Chile

July 24, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

"We needed to look for institutions and leaders who knew how to run a social organization and those leaders were here at ColungaHUB" 

How did you get to civil society?

We team up with women to motivate other women in science and technology. We gave it several laps and we decided to give the foundation format to this community that we put together, because it allows us to focus more on offering content, hopefully free, to our audience, and for that we need to access certain funds and donations. I came from the world of startups and this is very different, because we are required to have a social focus and dedicate ourselves to a vulnerable public. Girls In Tech is an organization that is in the United States, but of them we only have the representation of the brand, there is no financial support of the global organization; It is a free association.

What projects are Girls In Tech Chile in?

We are worried about taking our programs from the Metropolitan Region and taking them to regions. Our ADA Academy for entrepreneurs, now we are running it in Concepción, in an alliance with the Universidad de Concepción.

The other line of work we have is the Ingeniosas program, which focuses on girls in technology. We are increasing our efforts so that the main focus is on the north of Chile. We want to democratize science and technology in terms of gender, and it is also important that it be democratized in territorial terms and we can reach beyond Santiago.

Ingenious Program

For this 2018 what is the main challenge for Girls In Tech Chile?

We are with a challenge of sustainability and focused on being as self-sustaining as possible in the administrative part. In terms of our programs we want to scale them, take them to other cities in Chile and even Latin America.

How has the experience been at ColungaHUB? 

We arrived in October 2016 at ColungaHUB. We were in the communities of Empresas B but the challenges they faced were not ours. The focus, the way to include collaborators, everything is different. We needed to look for institutions and leaders who knew how to run a social organization and those leaders were here at ColungaHUB. We postulated, they accepted us and we never left again because every time we have a doubt there is always someone to talk to, to understand what we were doing. In the other spaces we were a little alone. 

What message would you give to women who are reading this interview?

That they are empowered, that they can achieve much more than they believe, the roofs are put on one. If they want they can be enterprising or they can make a foundation. I advise you to seek the knowledge you need, to ask, to be instructed in what you have to do. I would tell the organizations that we, civil society, are there to support them. It is no longer enough to empower them, we have to offer them specific knowledge and tools, so in that we are in Girls In Tech Chile. We are a non-profit organization that aims to identify, connect and give visibility to technology creators in Chile, turning them into sources of inspiration and specific knowledge for other women.

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