I was interviewed by BELatina.com on how Techqueria was fundraising to help undocumented people during the time of COVID-19.
Watch the full interview here:
1. What is Techqueria?
Follow up/include in your response: when and why was it founded?
Techqueria is a 501c3 nonprofit that serves the largest community of Latinx inTech. Our mission is to provide Latinx professionals with the resources andsupport that they need to thrive and become leaders in the tech industry. Techqueria started out as a Meetup group in 2015 to connect other Latinx in tech.
2. Tech is a big part of our lives and can still seem like a mystery to many because it can be a very privileged sector. What are some ways Techqueria is helping people of color understand what tech is and how they can get in the field?
Between 70 and 85 percent PayScale) of jobs are found through networking. That may come naturally for people who are from a family of professionals or who went to prestigious colleges. By the time they enter the workforce, some young adults already have large networks and lots of social capital that can help them find jobs, even with limited work experience. But young Latinx adults often face a social capital gap. Without access to the same networks and connections, it can be much harder to find a full-time job, even with the necessary education and skills. As a result, many young adults end up underemployed, working in jobs they are overqualified for and/or working fewer hours a week than they need to. And research shows that being underemployed can have lasting effects. As the largest community of Latinx in Tech in the US, Techqueria’s mission is to provide Latinx professionals with the resources and support that they need to thrive and become leaders in the tech industry and eventually become the most powerful and robust professional network of Latinx professionals in the tech industry across the world so we are very much trying to part of the solution there.
3. Can you give us three action items people can take today to pursue a career in tech?
First, determine it’s something you’ll actually enjoy since tech isn’t for everyone. Once you’ve done that, the three action items I would recommend are 1 joining communities – you will grow faster surrounded by peers who are aspiring to become technologists 2 taking advantage of all the free resources out there and setting a schedule 3 contributing to open source
4. With the onset of Covid19, Techqueria decided to launch a fundraiser to help undocumented people who were left out of federal relief packages and until yesterday, left out of California’s relief efforts. Why was it important for you all to launch the fundraiser?
Many Techqueria members are suffering because of COVID19. We have members who have lost jobs, taken pay cuts or are struggling with the two full-time jobs of parenting and working.
Most of all, our undocumented members are suffering.
As we use social distancing to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, this also means undocumented employees may have had hours reduced at work or have been completely cut off from being able to work.
Techqueria wants to help our most vulnerable members in this time of crisis. It is clear we are living in an unprecedented and unpredictable moment; we will only get through it by coming together. Our families and neighborhoods are stronger, safer and healthier when we come together and take care of each other through these hard times. This moment calls on us to go all-in for our community.
5. The fundraiser has a goal of $50,000 – are you all on track to meet that goal?
Yes, we just reached it earlier today!
6. What are some other ways you would like to see tech show up for marginalized communities?
As a Latina, I would love to see more programming and initiatives that support women of color. An idea I’d like tech to explore is providing us career coaching even at an early age. I had the privilege of having a career coach for half a year who identifies as Latina and it was such a blessing. Dr. Christina Villarreal
The percentage of software engineers who identify as Latina has and continues to be in the single digits.
According to the Women of Color in Computing Collaborative Less than 1% of Silicon Valley tech leadership positions are held by Latinx women and less than .5% are held by Black women.
Arizona State + Kapor Center
7. Where can people find Techqueria online and where can they find you online?
My Instagram game is pretty bad – I’m way more active on LinkedIn. My handle across all platforms is fvcproductions.
You can find Techqueria across all major platforms with our handle being Techqueria or techqueriaorg for IG.