I had the opportunity to attend Latinity 2015 in Chile, the first conference for women in technology in Latin America.
What I liked about the conference:
- Many Latin American countries represented at the conference: being the first conference for women in technology in Latin America, there were attendees from Chile, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Costa Rica, and other countries. This was an incredible opportunity to meet other people doing amazing work in Latin America, and to make great connections.
- A place to showcase what is being done: many talks and panels showcased what is being done to get more women and kids into programming. It was great to hear the experiences and challenges that each organization faces, and to learn how they have overcome them.
- The agenda and the volunteers: the organizers did a wonderful job with the call for participation, and selecting talks that were interesting for a diverse audience. I enjoyed all the presentations I attended, and I felt that there was a diverse mix of talks.
What I’d improve:
- More networking opportunities: given that the space where the conference took place was very dispersed, I’d have liked to see more opportunities to meet other attendees, and to network with them. Maybe a lunch, a mixer, or an evening session would have been a great opportunity for everyone to gather in the same place, and have the opportunity to meet others.
- What’s next: I attended great talks that showcased what is being done in Latin America, but I left with the feeling that there was no next step planned, and that was a little disappointing. I think that a brainstorming session where we could have planned next steps to build a network of women in technology in Latin America would have been really useful.
What I learned:
- Organizing a conference in Latin America is hard. I believe that organizing an event or workshop in Latin America is hard enough, and I really believe that many of the things that we would like to include or do in a event/workshop/conference in Latin America would not be possible because of many barriers (even if it sounds easy to include!)
- Latinity was the first conference for women in technology in Latin America. I had the opportunity to learn that multiple organizations in Latin America are doing awesome work, and it was a great opportunity to meet others, and to network with them.