A Lima native, Mariana Costa Checa attended the London School of Economics and Columbia University before coming back to Peru to work in web development. Back home, she was surprised to see how few women worked in the Peruvian tech industry — in fact, they made up less than 10% of the industry.
Inspired to make a change, Costa Checa founded Laboratoria in 2014, a social impact organization that trains women to pursue tech-focused careers through full-time bootcamps and talent match services. Costa’s initiative gained widespread recognition, receiving praise from Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama, among others.
Since its inception, Laboratoria has produced over 2,400 graduates in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Chile, with its number of graduates increasing almost 50% from 2020 to 2021. Up to 85% of graduates have received jobs in the last two years, helping to bridge the stark gender gap in Latin America’s tech community.
Through her work at Laboratoria, Costa Checa emphasizes the opportunity that the region faces, especially for women. In her 2021 impact report, she cited the Spanish phrase, uno cosecha lo que siembra — you reap what you sow. By developing the bootcamp, she hopes to continue to train the next generation of female tech talent that will go on to work at top companies and start their own initiatives.