Each year since 1968, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. This observance, which runs from September 15 to October 15, honors the history, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
Of course, Latinx and Hispanic peoples should be celebrated year-round, not just one month of the year. This is just the beginning of recognizing and honoring all that Latinx people have done in the world of tech.
Celebrating Latinx stars in the tech industry
Quantum Fiber is proud to recognize the achievements of the Latinx community and ensure they are best represented in the world of technology. Digital Trends Español and Victoria Montenegro Caspe put it best when they said: “Members of the Latino and Hispanic communities have long held prominent positions in the world’s largest technology companies, and it’s no surprise: We are a young, hard-working, and highly creative community.”
Here are just a few Latinx-identifying folks who have paved the way for others in the tech community and continue to do amazing things.
Brenda Salinas is committed to building a media landscape in which every woman of color has the power to tell her story. When she was 14 years old, she discovered a passion for telling stories on the radio. Salinas leverages technology and data science to craft stories and evaluate how digital storytelling is being heard. She helped relaunch NPR’s Latino USA as a full hour program and is currently an audio content strategist at Google.
During her interview with The Women in Tech Show, she encourages others: “You don’t have to wait for someone to give you an opportunity. You can make that opportunity for yourself … And that’s a beautiful thing.”
Guillermo Diaz Jr.
Diaz, who is of Mexican descent, worked 20 years for the technology firm Cisco, where he championed the concept of the Internet of Everything. DiversityWoman describes him as “a transformative global business leader and champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
He began his career in technology with the U.S. Navy and went on to hold technology leadership positions with some of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies, including Silicon Graphics, Ingram Micro, and Alza Corporation. Today, he serves as Cisco’s Global Chief Information Officer and is responsible for IT organization, strategy, and services.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Lilian Rincon, is one of the most important women in technology worldwide. In 2019, she was named one of the 15 most powerful women at Google and is recognized as one of the most important Latinas in technology. She has worked with Google as director of product management since 2017. Today, she is a senior product manager for Google Assistant, which is used by nearly 500 million people.
Luis von Ahn
Luis von Ahn is the co-founder and CEO of the language-learning website and app, Duolingo, which was inspired by his upbringing in Guatemala. He’s also the co-creator of CAPTCHA, the challenge–response test used in computing to determine if the user is human, and creator of reCAPTCHA, a service that protects websites from spam.
In 2005, at the age of 28, von Ahn was recognized as a MacArthur Fellow for his work in artificial intelligence and natural intelligence. In 2018, he received the $500K Lemelson-MIT Prize for his groundbreaking inventions in global computer technology.
Resources for Latinx in Tech
A huge part of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is providing resources for Latinx folks are interested in breaking into the tech world. Here are four organizations that offer opportunities, empowerment, and growth for those seeking it.
Latinas in Tech
This organization has been empowering and connecting Latinas since 2014. Latinas in Tech is a non-profit organization with the aim to connect, support, and empower Latina women working in tech. They work hand in hand with top technology companies to create safe spaces for learning, mentorship, and recruitment.
In 2022, they paired 163 mentors and mentees, posted 1,555 jobs on their job board, and had nearly 12,000 event participants. They have fostered a vibrant platform where Latinas in the tech industry can come together, share experiences, and forge meaningful relationships.
Techqueria is a nonprofit organization that serves the largest global community of Latinx professionals in tech. Their mission is to empower Latinx professionals with the resources and support they need to further their careers and become leaders in the tech industry. They have over 18,000 members and allies. Most members find themselves looking for growth opportunities and a sense of belonging through the community.
In 2020, Techqueria launched their inaugural summit in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month to empower Latinx professionals in tech, connect them with companies who are committed to inclusion, and celebrate the thriving Latinx in tech community.
TECHNOLOchicas is a national initiative of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and Televisa Foundation designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in tech.
They use the powerful stories of Latinas from diverse backgrounds, who are in technology fields, and recognize the power of innovation to change the world. These stories allow girls to see and relate to real-life role models. If you are a Latina over the age of 18 who is pursuing a career in tech or working in a tech-related field, you can even become a TECHNOLOchicas Ambassador!
Nuevo Foundation seeks to inspire kids to be curious, confident, and courageous by discovering the world of STEM. They work with students as young as 4 years old all the way up to university students. Nuevo Foundation claims students leave their events feeling like they have better understanding of the STEM opportunities available to them.
The foundation offers coding workshops that provide hands on opportunities for students to learn real-world problem-solving skills using coding, hardware, and their own imagination. They also offer virtual sessions to share the stories of people who have succeeded in STEM fields with students worldwide, as well as speaker engagements to motivate students to pursue STEM education.
Hispanic Heritage Month 2023
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