Changemaker Melina Masnatta, Co-founder and Executive Director of “Chicas en Tecnología”, Argentina
“Together with her team, Changemaker Melina Masnatta, Co-founder and Executive Director of Chicas en Tecnología, promotes the empowerment of adolescent girls and therefore contributes to social innovation and equality in the digital age. We are happy to support her important work as part of the Covid-19 Aid Program,” says Christiane Hölscher, Global CSR Manager at Beiersdorf AG.
Closing the gender gap and offering new opportunities
There is a worldwide gender gap in science- and technology-related disciplines. At a regional level, current challenges include internet access and computer literacy. Latin American women are at a disadvantage due to having greater social and cultural barriers. Gender stereotypes are constructed at an early age, while the interest in developing oneself in these areas becomes defined in adolescence. According to research in Argentina: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree enrolments are made up of only 33% women, and in degrees linked to programming this number drops to 16%.
Creating technological solutions with social impact
Chicas en Tecnología (CET) is an Argentinean non-profit civil society organization that works to reduce the gender gap in technology and encourages young women throughout the region to be creators of technological solutions with a social impact. Since 2015, more than 7,000 girls have participated in the organization’s programs and initiatives. They are trained in skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork, programming, computer thinking and design, among others.
Co-founder and Executive Director Melina Masnatta has been dedicated to creating educational solutions and opportunities with technology in a comprehensive and systemic way for many years. Alongside her bachelor’s degree in Education Sciences and master’s degree in Educational Technology, she has developed a profound experience in design, development, research, as well as the evaluation of innovation programs in education and technology.
Through her work at “Chicas en Tecnología”, young women learn to transform realities through technology. In the long-term, increased opportunities for women in these fields translate into greater economic success and equality at all levels.
Offering new opportunities during the pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, digitalization processes have accelerated at all levels. On the other hand, women have been the most vulnerable group during the pandemic, as they have to cover different roles, such as labor, adaptation, as well as the unpaid work that represents household tasks. In order to encourage more people to join in the creation of technology with a social impact, CET has launched new opportunities as well as free and open proposals, to put the spotlight on young women and their communities.
CET has launched 25 new online, free and open interactive workshops and webinars during the period of social isolation. More than 2,090 educators, leaders in technology, families and young women from 18 countries interested in the approach and topics related to the technological ecosystem have participated so far. CET digitalized their programs, strengthened their educational platform, and reached more than 1,700 adolescent women in Argentina and the whole region.
Melina Masnatta: “With the support of Beiersdorf we will create new solutions that will help girls from Latin America to become creators of technology with social impact and shape their own future, even in uncertain times”.
Beiersdorf supports Ashoka to fight COVID-19 consequences
COVID-19 keeps hitting the whole world hard — and its ultimate socioeconomic consequences cannot be foreseen today. With this in mind, Beiersdorf launched its global “Care Beyond Skin” aid program with a volume of 50 million euros at the very beginning of the crisis. The program comprises two pillars: immediate aid, and long-term support to fight the pandemic’s consequences. Among the long-term initiatives, Beiersdorf has set up partnerships with international NGOs, Ashoka being one of them. With the Beiersdorf funding, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs is able to expand its “Changemakers United” initiative beyond Europe to Africa, Latin America and South Asia. The program promotes and supports social innovators whose ideas and ventures aim specifically at reducing the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. Additional funding is provided to five social entrepreneurs within the Ashoka network, who contribute with their distinct and innovative approach to Beiersdorf’s mission and social focus area “Girls’ Empowerment.”