The project Chicas Poderosas (Powerful Women) was created by the journalist and designer Mariana Santos with the goal of empowering female journalists from Latin America, to help them gain more space in the digital design area. Created in 2013, the aim of the movement is to increase the number of women in this area, whose growth is due to the rise of digital news platforms, which are still predominantly male.
Santos was among those responsible for the reformulation of the digital platform of the British newspaper The Guardian, after that, she worked at Fusion channel, owned by ABC. In August, she worked as a volunteer for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, producing infographics and interactive branded content. Through her considerable experience in the digital journalism area, Santos saw that the female presence in the sector was lacking. According to her, women have taken on senior positions in the news room, but generally they are focused on the editorial department, and rarely in the digital area. This motivated her to create Chicas Poderosas, with the aim is monitoring, training and encouraging female journalists and designers to become leaders in the technology sector. “I see Chicas Poderosas as a driver for better independent journalism, that informs and engages readers. When there is a greater female presence in the news, we have a better democracy,” she says.
The project also has a network of journalists working collaboratively to publicize the initiative, but the focus of the communication efforts is mainly on social networks. There are more than 4,500 likes on the Chicas Poderosas Facebook page and 3,500 followers on Twitter. This strategy has been successful and Chicas has trained over 2,500 women since 2013, through training events, hackathons and summits.