I was the moderator for a panel celebrating and recognizing Latina engineers.
- Name: Celebrating Latina Engineers Panel
- Date: Wednesday, August 29, 3018
- Location: Twitter, 1355 Market Street, San Francisco
- Time: 6-8pm
- Expected attendance: 80-100 people
- Erika Rodriguez, Ph.D. Senior Engineer, Tesla
- Roxana del Toro, Software Engineer, Yammer (Microsoft)
- Diana Macias, Sr. Mgr., Software Engineering, Twitter
- Moderator: Frances Coronel, Software Engineer, Slack
- 6:00 – 6:30 pm Registration and Networking
- 6:30 – 6:35 pm Welcome Words from Latinas in Tech
- 6:35 – 7:15 pm Panel Discussion
- 7:15 – 7:30 pm Q&A
- 7:30 – 8:00 pm Networking and drinks
- 8:00 pm Event ends
Our next Latinas in Tech Silicon Valley Meetup will be at the beautiful offices of Twitter in San Francisco!
Please join us for next Meetup where we will be celebrating and recognizing the Latinas at the heart of tech: las engineers. We have an amazing panel of Latina engineers paving the way in the industry and leading new product innovations.
As always, this event will also serve as a wonderful opportunity to meet and connect with Latinas working in the tech industry. You will leave inspired!
Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Gracias to Twitter for hosting us. We hope to see you there!
SiliconValley Please join us at our next Latinas in Tech Meetup at @Twitter to hear from a panel of amazing Latina engineers: Erika Rodriguez of @Tesla, Roxana del Toro of @Yammer, @maciasd of @Twitter and @fvcproductions of @SlackHQ. Register here 👉 https://t.co/36ZfZcjAkK
Tonight @TwitterAlas hosted @latinas_tech , a non-profit that empowers Latina’s working in tech. With more than 3,000 women representing +15 countries, this organization is dedicated to celebrating #LatinasInTech and inspiring all of us to do the same! pic.twitter.com/ifoJFjiOkK
— Twitter Together (@TwitterTogether) August 30, 2018
— Gretel Perera (@gretelperera) August 30, 2018
— Jenn Briana Gonzalez (@jennyjennbri) August 30, 2018
Celebrating Latina Engineers at @Twitter HQ, a @latinas_tech meetup! Erika Rodriguez from @Tesla, Roxana Del Toro from @Yammer, @maciasd from #Twitter and awesome moderation by @fvcproductions from @SlackHQ! #LatinasInTech #DiversityInTech #EqualityforAll
— Larissa Prairie (@larimaryprairie) August 30, 2018
— Carla Yashiro (@CarlaYashiro) August 30, 2018
— Marcela Bonell (@MBonell) August 30, 2018
“I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me after the Latinas in Tech event at Twitter. I enjoyed hearing about your experience and journey working in tech.”
For all panelists
Some of these questions were re-worded or not asked.
- Ladies, to start us off, could you tell us a little bit about what you are up to now and what your background is: like where did you grow up and how did you first get interested in STEM? Where are you or your parents from? etc.
- Could you elaborate on how your initial interest in STEM led you down the path to where you are today as either an engineer or engineering manager?
- So our theme today is “Celebrating Latina engineers”, let’s start with that.
- What are you most proud of having accomplished in your career as Latina in engineering?
- Do you ever celebrate how far you’ve gotten and if you have recently, how has the celebration taken place or how do you “treat yourself”?
- In a 2014 interview, Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the most famous scientists in the world who also happens to be a black man said that race is not a part of the point he is trying to make in his career or with his life. He purposefully no longer speaks publicly about race. “I don’t give talks on it. I don’t even give Black History Month talks. I decline every single one of them. In fact, since 1993, I’ve declined every interview that has my being black as a premise of the interview”.
- What do you think of Tyson’s approach? Obviously, by being on a “Latinas in Tech” panel, we are all taking the opposite approach but does that issue of being known as just the best “black” astrophysicist or just the best “Latina” engineer bother you in any sense? Or do you the believe the advantages of showing you are Latina outweigh the potential disadvantages of those seeing you a certain way?
- So having talked about all these deeper issues at hand already, what advice would you give to Latinas who are new and trying to break into the tech field?
- Because as of right now, one of the least represented demographics in tech is the Latinx community even though we are the fastest growing population in the country.
- Hispanics continue to account for more of the nation’s overall population growth than any other race or ethnicity, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of preliminary population estimates from the Census Bureau.
- How many times have you worked with another Latina? Has it ever felt awkward? Did you share moments of resilience/talk about being Latina?
- Margaret Thatcher, the UK’s first female prime minister, has been described as a queen bee for not promoting or furthering the careers of women in her cabinet. How do you feel about that mentality on how women don’t always support other women? Have you ever experienced that yourself?
- Have you either of you also experienced any challenges as a Latina, or a woman, working in tech? If so, how did you overcome it?
- Have you ever been in a situation where it was obvious that you were being discriminated against or have you ever gone through imposter syndrome? How did you overcome that period?
- On the flip side, what opportunities or advantages do you see being a Latina working in tech?
- For example, at a previous company, it was very easy for everyone to remember me from a meeting or all-hands event because there was barely anyone who looked like me. I stood out.
- It’s been said that when discussing promoting “Women in Tech”, it’s often understood that this actually translates to “white women in tech”.
- How do you feel about this, being a Latina in tech which is by far one of the most underrepresented combinations in tech?
- You have always been an advocate for Latinas working in tech and you’ve been a great example for young women that want to get into the field as an engineering manager for one of the most well-known tech companies in the world. Thank you for that.
- Can you tell us a little bit more about why having Latinas in Tech is important to you and how your role at Twitter has enabled you to extend your voice to this topic?
- How would advise a Latina who is trying to find a mentor?
- Roxana, how can we get more Latinas into engineering or why aren’t there more Latinas pursuing STEM majors in college in the 1st place?
- Do you feel this issue is a pipeline issue, it is because of cultural norms within the Hispanic community? Or is the problem just a byproduct of a larger societal issue at hand? What are your thoughts?
- You have always been a strong advocate for diversity and equality for women in the workplace. You had a very strong voice about this during your time at Uber.
- A quote from th SF Chronicle this past March reads: “Lopez, a female Latina software engineer employed by Uber from May 2015 through August 2017, says she was treated differently by Uber than her male colleagues.” – SF Chronicle.
- Can you tell us more about this experience and why you decided to take that bold and strong stance?
- While at NASA, part of your role was to “develop processes to analyze heat shields (thermal protection systems) on the multipurpose crew vehicle that will one day take humans to Mars.”
- Can you tell us about your time at NASA, your roles/responsibilities and what it was like to work on these projects?
- So Erika, you have a startup – WomenCollegeTech – that aims to engage and highlight women who are working towards or have obtained a STEM degree from an all-women’s college and are looking to develop their careers in tech
- My cousin went to Smith College as well – I’m curious on why you decided focus on all women’s colleges specifically?