Providing education and job placement for young women in Colombia


At a glance

Laboratoria’s mission is to prepare young women and organizations for a more diverse, inclusive and competitive digital economy in Latin America. The organization does this through an innovative training model (bootcamp) that transforms young women from underserved backgrounds into software developers and UX designers. It then connects them to companies that need their talent, while also training organizations on how to face digital transformation challenges. This program will support Laboratoria’s expansion to a new country: Colombia.

The partners

Laboratoria trains thousands of young women in Latin America to develop careers in tech that will change their future, while making the industry more diverse. Laboratoria currently operates in Peru, Mexico, Chile and Brazil. Through its bootcamp, young women who have not had access to quality education become web developers and UX designers, accessing quality jobs in technology. Laboratoria has trained over 1,000 young women and placed 80 percent of them in tech jobs with salaries that nearly triple their previous incomes.

The problem

Laboratoria solves two problems that, together, become an opportunity:

  1. The lack of quality education and job opportunities for young women from underserved backgrounds in Latin America.
  2. The talent and diversity gap in the tech sector that most countries are facing.

Higher education has traditionally been the primary path to access quality job opportunities and social mobility. Despite tertiary enrollment having reached 53 percent across Latin America1 , completion rates are as low as 14 percent2 . Out of the 22 million young people who are neither working nor studying in the region, 72 percent are women.3 

With these circumstances, new effective, accountable and innovative ways of preparing youth for the jobs of tomorrow are required.

The solution

Laboratoria's model taps into the opportunity of unmet demand for diverse technical talent and solves it by building a new approach to youth skills training. The organization prepares young women from economically underserved backgrounds in the most sought after technical tools and programming languages, as well as on the socio-emotional skills needed to build a successful career. Participants only pay for the program once they begin working, making the intervention accountable and accessible.

The evidence

Laboratoria has recently published an impact report with the following results:

  • 473 young women graduated as front-end developers and UX designers
  • 80 percent of graduates started well-paid tech jobs within six months of graduating
  • 196 companies hired Laboratoria graduates
  • Graduates reported income increase of 270 percent

The Impact

  • Organization set-up in Colombia
  • 35 young women reached in first Colombia cohort
  • 105 indirect beneficiaries
  • 70 percent of participants placed in well-paid tech jobs
  • Students increase income by 250 percent.4

Laboratoria works towards SDGs: