Chicas Poderosas: who we are, what we are doing and why, and how you can get involved

Mariana Santos
May 13, 2019 · 3 min read

Chicas Poderosas is a global community that promotes female leadership and generates knowledge to shape the future of the media, one chica at a time.

This project started five years ago and it was launched at Stanford, when Mariana Santos decided to tackle the existing gender imbalance she witnessed first hand in Latin American newsrooms.

Today our community is active in 18 countries, mainly in Latin America and also in the U.S., Spain and Portugal. Our local communities are managed by local ambassadors that organize networking events, trainings, mediathons and special projects. We work with an horizontal, collaborative leadership model that allows us to reach more women, make our organization sustainable in the long run and, at the same time, provide ambassadors with a concrete leadership experience.

Why does it matter

Newsrooms across the world are mainly led by men; the issue is even more pronounced in LatAm. This generates an editorial agenda that offers a limited perspective and excludes women’s issues from the public debate, perpetuating gender inequality. We are developing the full potential of women in the media to make their voices heard and create a more diverse industry, embracing innovation as the way forward.

Our structure and projects

Based on human-centered design, we are building a community of journalists, designers, media entrepreneurs and technologists, supporting women-led innovation in digital journalism through training, networking and specific projects. We work on three verticals, with these ongoing projects:

NETWORK — A community of over 5,500 women who work in media in 18 countries are connected through events, social media and collaborative projects using an adaptive leadership model. Projects:

  • Mediathons in Argentina and Mexico, scheduled for July and November respectively.
  • Local networking and skill sharing events in Argentina and Spain.

LAB — A space to experiment and innovate, create tools and methodologies using new technologies to produce high quality journalism projects. Projects:

  • Regional investigation into the migration experiences of women and non-binary people in Latin America. Expected to be published in August 2018.
  • Conversaciones Poderosas. Live online conversations where women from the media industry located in different parts of the world gather to discuss a specific issue. Pilot launched in May.
  • A Freedom of Information Access project in Brazil and Mexico.

ACADEMY — Professional training to give woman concrete skills to take their professional career to the next level, boost entrepreneurial journalism projects and push forward female leadership. Projects:

New Ventures Lab, an accelerator for independent media projects lead by women in Latin America. It aims to elevate the quality and improve the diversity of journalism by supporting independent media projects. The second cohort will graduate in June.

Get involved!

We are working on many projects around the world to change the future of media and empower women in this industry, and you can help us do this.

  • Follow us!

Help us get the word out about what we are doing by following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

  • Subscribe!

We have a newsletter where we share the updates of our community, our upcoming projects and events and more. Sign up here.

  • Become a Chica Poderosa!

If you want to join our community, fill out this form.

  • Support or sponsor us

If you are interested in supporting or sponsoring our organization and events, please send an email with the subject “Sponsor Chicas Poderosas” introducing yourself and telling us more to

Mariana Santos

Written by

Founder & CEO Chicas Poderosas ˚JSK Stanford 2015• ICFJ Knight Fellow ˚ former @guardian ˚visual storyteller ≈ triathlete

Chicas Poderosas

Chicas Poderosas es una comunidad global que promueve el cambio inspirando y fomentando el desarrollo de mujeres en medios y creando oportunidades para que todas las voces sean escuchadas.

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