Building the talent pipeline for future generation of girls leaders in technology

We reduce the gender gap in the tech-environments, breaking stereotypes and putting young women in touch with technology in a novel way.

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Melina Masnatta

Initiative's representative date of birth

23 July 1983

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Argentina

Where are you making a difference?

Head Office: Argentina, Buenos Aires and we reach 13 more provinces in Argentina

Website or social media url(s)

When was your organisation founded?

March 2015

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
  • Creating digital tools

Project Stage

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways) 

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $250k - $500k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

The founders of Chicas en Tecnología (CET) are four Argentine women with different professional profiles (programming, entrepreneurship, education, design) and a common entrepreneurial spirit. After having experienced the problems that lack of diversity generate in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics - STEAM, and having learned that a team with multiple visions works better and generates better products, they decided to create CET in 2015 to motivate, train and accompany adolescent women to consider technology among their academic and professional options, but responding to the needs and experiences of the Argentine context and aligned to the global approach.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

In Argentina, only 16% of women study careers related to programming and 33% careers related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In an era where technology is transforming economies and societies, women's voices and their perspectives need to be included.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

To make significant progress on the gender gap in technology and position women in an expanding labor market in need of diversity, more women need to be interested in the tech-sector from an early age. Not only as users, but as creators, professionals and entrepreneurs. We propose a circuit of immersive technology Programs for young women to develop technological and entrepreneurial skills for social purposes: Clubes carried out in education institutions led by its educators and Programing a Better World intensive program implemented in tech-companies or organization. Participants work as a team, identify real problems in their communities and design and build an app to help solve it guided by tech-experts and entrepreneurs who provide inspiration and motivation. Finally, participants join CommunityCET: a space for reference, support and motivation to offer opportunities, strengthen their projects, consolidate their vocation and deepen their knowledge, this includes online platform, webinars and Employment Portal. In addition, through several Initiatives: Talks, Workshops and Events, Research, and Campaigns we build a systemic change that complements this process.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

CET focuses in young women who are in a key moment to acquire tools and become empowered to decide about their future academic and professional path free from gender stereotypes. CET programs prove them that wherever they are, with their technology they can create solutions for social problems. The apps created by the girls are designed to tackle social issues that concern them and their communities, for instance: “talk to me?” an app created to accompany young women who are going through pregnancy. Furthermore, we carry out constant research to create realistic solutions for the gender gap problem: We measure impact, evaluate, build reports, datasets and promote broadcasting events to share results to favor public debate.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Through different dynamics and with the use of their available technology, participants acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics - STEAM, with a focus on innovation and gender, to deepen the use and creation of technology with social impact and paying special attention to the ethical challenge of artificial intelligence. This includes: Promotion of knowledge about agile methodologies, prototyping and validation of data. Student-centered education (based on the creation of user-centered products), work modes typically used in software development and technology-based enterprises. Use of technology with purpose. Transmission of the importance of technology, not only for commercial or leisure purposes, but as a tool that participants can use to change the lives of millions of people. Free and open-source software.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Skills fostering: Technology with social impact; Methodologies for technology design (The Apps case); Programming, data and users, what are they for?; From users to creators: the challenges of sustainability, digital citizenship and ethics of AI. Plan to measure: On the short term, we measure skills acquired and change of perceptions with pre/post interviews to each participant. On the other hand, we continue providing accompaniment and promoting the young women’s interest in technology over time through CET Community, this constant contact with young women allows us to measure impact.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health


6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.


7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are NGOs and Companies in Latin America that work with working-age women. Women are taught to code in order to have a quick labor insertion. However there is a high possibility that these women stay in low-status jobs with low salaries. According to openqube salary survey (2014-2019) the gender breach on salaries is: 20,97%. Our approach is different, since we grant the tools and opportunities for young women to prove their skills in technology and decide free from gender stereotypes about their future academic and professional path.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since 2015, CET programs reached 4,100 girls. Including +2000 girls who are now part of #CETCommunity and continue enjoying from opportunities such scholarships or who became Ambassadors and mentors for the new girls. More than 550 technological solutions for social problems were created. Through the Initiatives (talks, workshops, research and events were CET exposes results of actions) we have reached +44.500 people from various fields: families, educators, referents, mentors and people from the tech-entrepreneurial ecosystem that joined to achieve gender parity in the technological entrepreneurial environment. Testimony of Felicitas (2019), graduated from CET’s Program: “Before being part of Chicas en Tecnología, I thought that technological things were more for boys, but after starting CET, everything I thought about this changed.”

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

To achieve its goals Chicas en Tecnología is supported by various sponsors. The bond is with those organizations and companies that share a common objective: to achieve gender parity in the technological entrepreneurial environment so we achieve a sustained support. This includes private funds from companies; and funds from governmental entities. CET also participates in national and international calls and awards for project financing and in 2019 launched its Individual Donors Campaign.

10. Team

CET team is diverse and has experience in various areas such as technology, education, communication, programming, entrepreneurship and design. It is currently composed by full-time staff: Executive Director, Programs Coordinator, Communication Coordinator, Culture Responsible and Administration Responsible and other part-time freelance consultants who give support in specific projects. All these people are professionals qualified to develop the objective of the organization to which they adhere

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • This does not apply to me

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?


How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact

11. Bring it to life: Please walk us through a concrete example of how your solution will solve the problem you’re trying to address

CET programs testimony 2019: Zoe, 16, 4th year in a small community school. “I’ve always had good grades but no subject seemed challenging or fascinated me. Nor had I decided what to study, maybe astronomy. Technology has always caught my attention, but it seemed too complicated. My teacher asked me if I wanted to participate in CET. The first meeting I was in a group with two girls I didn’t know, we ended up working extremely well. We thought about a social problem: we were going to create an app to help to solve it. We chose pollution. We believed the biggest problem was misinformation; organizations should be able to upload useful information in our app for people to access it. I also learnt about communication and leadership. Through CET platform I met women tech-leaders, who inspired me, I was always told that I couldn’t fully pursue things alone, but if they did, why couldn’t I?"

12. Skills Matching: HSBC Employees will have the opportunity to offer skilled-volunteering. If matched, which of the following skills would you be most interested in receiving?

  • Planning & Strategy
  • Monitoring Impact
  • Project Management
  • Program Design
  • Research
  • Marketing Strategy, Design
  • Multimedia
  • IT Infrastructure/CRM
  • Web/Mobile Development

13. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.

individual donations or gifts _30__%

foundation or NGO grants _15__%

corporate contributions _40__%

grants or contracts _5__%

other _10__% (public sector)

14. Financial Sustainability – please tell us more about how you plan to fund and scale your project over the next 12 months.

Chicas en Tecnología is a young organization with only 5 years working, however just in 2019 the NGO growth was of 300%. Our goal is to further diversify funding sources in order to maintain a balance that allows us long-term sustainability. The current sources are private sector 40%, public sector 10%, awards 15%, donations 30%, partners 5%. The annual budget for 2020 is usd300.000 The most important aspect of CET financial plan is that 75% of the budget is for funding direct actions with beneficiaries and 25% to operation costs from which 2% are destined to support actions on times of contingencies, it is thanks to this strategy that the CET is being able to carry out urgent quality actions theses months with COVID-19.

15. Growth Strategy: What are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

On the long term CET plans to scale regionally, to strengthen the programs and initiatives, to innovate in products and formats and to share ecosystems. However, due to these atypical global circumstances with COVID-19, CET has put all the strategies into action, demonstrating how they are able to scale and achieve the idea’s desired full potential impact in the short term. This is being done by strengthening all the  free and open proposals and innovating with online and offline products to continue training, motivating and accompanying in this time of social isolation, locally and abroad. 

16. Activating changemakers: How are you giving people the power to control their own destiny and support other people to become changemakers in their communities?

CET promotes young women to become interested in technology from an early age, not only as users but as entrepreneurs and creators of solutions that impact their realities and communities. The objective is to approach the problem in a comprehensive way, with tools of logical thinking, skills in problem solving, creativity, communication, design, teamwork and strategies to undertake. Using technology as a source of solving real problems, participants are challenged and appropriate the process of developing technological solutions in a practical way and close to the professional field.  

17. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?

Declaration of educational interest at the national level. Awards: Google Rise Award (2018), EY Entrepreneur of the Year Argentina (2020), Latin America Leadership Impact Award Georgetown University (2019), Tällberg Foundation (2020). Nominations: in Equals in Tech Award (2018), Nature Research Award (2019), World Summit Awards (2019). Fellowship in the Ashoka International Foundation.

18. Tell us about how collaborations and partnerships would enhance the scalability and impact of your project

Several stakeholders participate: formal/non-formal education institutions, ministries, public and international organizations, companies, startups, media and NGOs, among others. They generate a virtuous circle that adds value to the construction of a strategic path, brings greater diversity and talent to each of its areas, and transform themselves into agents of change. The approach is comprehensive and seeks to have a social impact, leaves installed capacity and creates a social agenda.

Finally - Your Selfie Elevator Pitch: Share a 1-minute video that shares a quick summary of the problem you would like to solve, how you’ve chosen to solve it, and the impact you hope to see.

Melina Masnatta, co-founder and CEO of Chicas en Tecnología explains her motivations to become a changemaker and why we need to close the gender gap in technology.

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 100%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%


Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 33.3%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 33.3%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 66.7%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 50%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 100%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 50%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

Other option - 0%


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