Peruvian EdTech firm Laboratoria has received a $4 million grant from MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, to support women to develop careers in tech.
Laboratoria was founded in 2014 by Mariana Costa Checa, a Peruvian social entrepreneur who has been recognized by Barack Obama and MIT as one of the most innovative Latin American entrepreneurs, with the aim of empowering women to start a career in tech. The social impact organization is dedicated to training women who have not yet been able to start professional careers in technological profiles, preparing them to launch transformative careers in the growing technology sector.
Laboratoria offers job-oriented, immersive, and holistic 6-month bootcamp in programs like web development and UX design with full job placement support.
Speaking about Laboratoria and how the donation will help the organization, Mariana Costa Checa said,
Since we started Laboratoria, we have set out to create a world-class program for our students, which provide them with the access, motivation and tools necessary to build a bright future in a sector full of opportunities. Today we are proud to see that this is a reality: our graduates are changing the face of the technology sector in Latin America and inspiring a next generation of women to dream big. We share this achievement with the companies that invest in Laboratoria’s talent and with the allies that have supported us to grow over the years, which now proudly include MacKenzie Scott. This donation will allow us to build for the long term, reminding us that Laboratoria is here to stay, just like women in technology.
Laboratoria claims to have trained close to 3,000 women and placed more than 85% of its graduates in hundreds of companies in the region. The company also claims that in 2021 90% of its graduates found a job in the tech industry after the program with average salaries of more than $1,000 per month.
Karen Kelly, Director of Partnerships at Laboratoria, said,
Receiving this donation is a huge recognition and boost to our impact. We are at a moment where we are preparing to scale significantly and be able to reach many more women in every corner of Latin America. This contribution is part of making it possible. We want to guarantee that more women can work in technology and, in this way, be part of building the future of Latin America.
Laboratoria currently has operations in Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador, and has been a source of talent for more than 1,100 companies in Latin America and beyond.
MacKenzie Scott has in 2019 pledged to give away all of her money and, so far, she has already donated to various institutions around the world, including organizations that support women’s rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and fight climate change and racial inequalities. With this donation to Laboratoria, the philanthropist will support her mission to reduce the gender gap in technology by transforming the lives of thousands of women in Latin America.