The Change Agent Abie Award honors an outstanding international woman (non-U.S. resident with an emphasis on developing countries) who created or expanded opportunities for girls and women in technology. This year's winner, Mariana Costa Checa, is the Co-founder and CEO at Laboratoria, a social enterprise working to equip young women from economically underserved backgrounds in Latin America with the skills they need to build successful careers in the tech sector.
With centers in Peru, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil, Laboratoria is training thousands of young women as software developers and placing them in tech jobs where they will transform their lives and the industry. Mariana has been recognized on multiple occasions for her work as a social entrepreneur. The BBC named her one of the most influential women in 2016, and MIT named her one of Peru’s leading innovators under 35. She also shared a panel with President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. As an Ashoka fellow, Mariana is recognized as a changemaker for the good of society.
Before becoming a social entrepreneur, Mariana worked at the Organization of American States in international development programs throughout Latin America, helping expand access to civil registration services in underserved communities. She holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York. She is originally from Lima, Peru, and her desire to build a better country for women has been a key inspiration for her endeavors.
You can follow Mariana on Twitter: @mcostach @laboratoriala
Thank you to Microsoft for sponsoring the 2018 Change Agent Abie Award.