Laboratoria Colombia is a proposal that began its digital march to close the gap between female talent demanded by the industry.
The Woman Post | María Consuelo Caicedo Toro
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For this Colombian man who bets on gender equality from his professional practice “in the world, it is necessary to recognize inequities and work to reduce them. There should be no privileges for men or women, there are no opportunities only for one and the other, but opportunities for all.”
To carry out successful projects, you need good helmsmen. And that is Laboratoria Colombia, a proposal that began its digital march to close the gap between female talent demanded by the industry and companies, at the head of which are competent people who make up a team of workers that believes in women.
The Institutional Relationship Manager of Laboratoria Colombia is Jesús Tabares, a Colombian who will turn 30 next August and who, being so young, has held high-profile positions such as the Manager of Social and Business Responsibility of IBM for Colombia.
He studied politics and international relations and, thanks to the fact that he takes advantage of his academic training and his infinite desire to do, do and do, he is always at the forefront of an initiative. He has no peace of mind, he is here and there making a country and connecting people taking advantage of his digital skills. Jesus has plenty of life, joy, faith, and enthusiasm. His area of influence? Technology-based education for work and technology for change.
The reason for being of Laboratoria Colombia is to give importance to female talent through competitiveness: "We do not want companies to lose the opportunity to have talented Latina women among their collaborators." They have the door open to be trained through alternative education through a methodology that simulates work scenarios where they strengthen their technical and transversal skills for work.
Nice to meet you, Jesús!
Jesús Tabares was born in San José del Guaviare, a land that he calls the “capital of Colombian hope,” a point in the country's geography where violence has made its own and where he is a prophet because he works to promote social change through initiatives sustainable development taking advantage of local and international support.
He is convinced that in partnerships there is the true potential for development: "I have been fortunate to be in work positions that have allowed me to leverage my passion for connecting people."
Today his bets are to contribute to the Colombian department of Guaviare and to continue promoting Laboratoria "where he learns to learn." Jesús Tabares believes in Colombian women in the technology industry. He describes a woman in tech as “the owner of critical thinking, determined, a woman who looks for the specific spaces in which she wants to develop her talent and her tools to achieve it. She is empathetic, she easily connects with the realities of others and recognizes her needs. All this makes it ideal for finding technological solutions that benefit society.”
It is worth meeting Jesús Tabares, an amateur chef and lover of video games, and conversations about gender and sexual diversity. An “openly gay” man who understood the wisdom of teaming up with women. To follow him, his networks are on LinkedIn (Jesús Tabares), and on Twitter as JesusTabares_
The graduates of Laboratoria -an organization that was born in Peru and spread to Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia- have an engine that drives them. His name is Jesús and his last name Tabares: “I am the manager of the graduates, I find employability routes for them. My job is to locate organizations and companies with which we have philosophical coincidences and they bet on female talent in technology.”
How to knock on the doors of Laboratoria?
Jesús explains: "Any woman who has basic web browsing training can come to us." The second step is to participate in a selection that presides over the inclusion in the courses of the most outstanding ones who, in addition, will be interviewed to demonstrate their capacities for autonomous learning. In Laboratoria there are no teachers, only coaches or mentors.
Laboratoria educates for work. Women join projects in teams and present proposals with a reference that responds to compliance criteria. It is a cutting-edge model for learning whose axis is autonomy.
Do students have to pay to prepare?
The interesting thing about Laboratoria is that the girls who join its training dynamics pay, according to Tabares, “only if they manage to complete the process that lasts 6 months. They must also receive a proposal in technology that allows them to exercise what they have learned, with a minimum monthly income estimated at 2 million pesos (it may be a bit more or less), according to the average of the referent income in Colombia.” The repayment helps Laboratoria to sustain the program in time and space, as well as resources that come from events, innovation days, and philanthropic contributions from companies that are concerned with bridging gaps between female digital talent and the industry in Latin America.
Since 2020 Laboratoria has graduated its first cohort of 41 women and 26 of them already work in companies where they have been able to double or triple their income in the past. Another 50 students advance their training process since February 2021.