Who are the Brazilian black and indigenous women in technology?

To map and collect stories, we are launching #PretaLab, an initiative aiming to increase the presence of girls and women in technology and innovation in Brazil.

Digital technologies have a central role in decision making and are shaping the future. We often hear about the positive impact of digital revolution and its capacity to solve social issues. The fact is, however, that “the increasing inequalities of our contemporary world are, somehow, related to the vertiginous technology changes in global economy”, resumes Professor Ricardo Abramovay.

To change this scenario, it is important that we talk about democratizing the access of technology production. It is urgent to work for diversity throughout technology’s applications consumed by us and those which our society is based in. In the US, it is estimated that only 2% of black women compose the science and engineering workforce. In Brazil, this data does not even exist.

We, therefore, believe in the urgency of encouraging more people to master these techniques, considering the growth of computer power, a growing mechanized workforce and the rise of the robots, which more and more affect politics and economics.

For those reasons, we created PretaLab. An initiative to amplify spaces and black and indigenous Brazilian women’s representation in technology. Our first step is to map who are we. We know that we are few and have little visibility. However, where we are, we are making a difference. Producing data is a way of pressuring public and private policies, monitoring agendas in the rapidly changing political context and, above all, encouraging more black and indigenous girls and women have access to this still very restricted and elitist universe.

It should also be highlighted that we do not understand the technological as only formal engineering, the sciences and other traditional sectors around technology and innovation.

The digital revolution has opened the space for people to learn through tutorials on the Internet and with a series of works that have appeared in the field of digital communication, arts, social media and activism. We understand that they are very important and need to be mapped. Our mission is also to stimulate the production of knowledge that goes beyond technical knowledge, proposing a critical and purposeful reflection on black and indigenous women and technologies in the contemporary world.

We invite you, acting in any field related to innovation and technology, to fill in this form.

We are looking for content producers, web activists, digital entrepreneurs, independent makers, garage scientists, youtube apprentices, researchers, data scientists, computer engineers, technologists, software developers, web designers, tech product managers, and also those who do not yet identify themselves within the technology field. If you think this call is for you, please fill in the form below! We are looking forward to hearing from you :)

PretaLab is being launched on March 17th, with a panel on the role of black and indigenous women in the technologies, composed by Silvana Bahia de Olabi, Monique Evelle de Desabafo Social, Maria Rita Casagrande de Blogueiras Negras e Infopreta, Maria Eloisa design researcher Na PUC Rio, Viviane Gomes de Criola and Vitória Lourenço de Data Labe. The entrance is open and free.