Melina Masnatta and Sofia Contreras

February 25, 2019

Melina Masnatta (GCL 2017) and Sofia Contreras (GCL 2016), Winners of the GCL Impact Award 2019

The GCL Impact Award was created by Georgetown University’s Latin America Leadership Program and the GCL Advisory Committee to recognize Global Competitiveness Leadership program (GCL) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting the multiplier effect in the Latin American region.

Georgetown University’s Latin America Leadership granted this year’s GCL Impact Award to two GCL alumni, Melina Masnatta, GCL 2017, and Sofia Contreras, GCL 2016, from Argentina for their project Chicas en Tecnología, a non-profit organization that seeks to advance the digital transformation and close the gender gap in Latin America. Through various programs and initiatives, such as Programming for a Better World (PUMM), CET clubs, the CET community, events, workshops, campaigns, and R&D, Melina and Sofia are working together to inspire, train, and support the next generation of women leaders in the region.

Since their participation in the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL), Melina and Sofia have been developing new roles and dynamics for young women in the fields of technology and science. In just a few years since its founding, Chicas en Tecnología has grown 300% in impact, earning them several recognition awards last year, including Ashoka Fellow 2018, Upward Argentina 2018, Equals in Tech Award 2018, and World Summit Award-Best Technological Solution with Social Impact 2018.

As Melina explained to LALP,

GCL gave me the tools to understand what leadership means, and inspired me to create conscious,  committed-driven, and long-lasting impact in the region.”

Melina and Sofia believe that from Latin America we can change the world.

From Argentina, for the region and the world, we are changing the technological entrepreneurial environment bringing innovation and diversity, and generating sustained social impact as never before.”

Thus, along with other partners, Melina and Sofia are leading the digital transformation and closing the gender gap in technology so that more Latin American women consider technology as part of their professional careers.

We’re inspired to think that the next tech innovator will be a Latin American woman.”

Chicas en Tecnología is a perfect example of the multiplier effect of the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) creating impact in local and national communities, from schools, universities, and NGOs, to companies, governments, and other stakeholders. Their 2020 goal is to expand their work to other countries in the region.

We are very proud of what GCL alumni Melina and Sofia have achieved to close the gender gap and advance technological development in the region, and we are honored to grant them both the GCL Impact Award 2019.

Congratulations to Melina and Sofia!

The presentation of the GCL Impact Award 2019 took place during the GCL Pitch Showcase, on March 28, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Learn more about our past Impact Award winners.

Bios

Melina Masnatta (GCL 2017, Argentina).

Born in Chubut (Patagonia Argentina) is Ashoka Fellow (2018), co-founder and executive director of Chicas en Tecnología, a member and founder of the interdisciplinary digital art collective A.Mo.Ver, professor and researcher; National Teacher of Classical Dances; Bachelor of Education Sciences (University of Buenos Aires, diploma of honor), Master and Specialist in Educational Technology (University of Buenos Aires, graduated with special mention). She received scholarships to participate in the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (2017) at Georgetown University and in the State Department International Visitors Leadership Program with focus on Education and Technology. In 2018, she received a scholarship to participate in the intensive program for entrepreneurs with social impact in the Middle East (Israel) of Schusterman Foundation, as the only representative of the region in this program. That same year she was recognized by the UPWARD international network for her commitment and work with Gender Equity, and as Ashoka Fellow. For more than 11 years she has been dedicated to creating technological solutions and educational opportunities in an integral way. She has experience in the design, development, research and evaluation of projects and implementing innovation programs that articulate education and technology with a regional focus, both in the public and private sectors and in international organizations. Melina specializes in creativity, training, youth empowerment and gender gap. She is currently a columnist on issues of technology, art and education for the newspaper La Nación, and a consultant for other media channels.

Sofia Contreras (GCL 2016, Argentina).

Sofía Contreras is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and education. She was the leader of the Fund of Funds (FONDCE) of the Ministry of Production of Argentina, creating and developing the first public-private investment fund to strengthen the entrepreneurial capital industry in the country. She was Director of Operations at Incutex Company Builders, an accelerator that invests and funds technology-based ventures. With her experience in the sector, she co-founded Chicas en Tecnología, a non-profit organization that seeks to close the gender gap in technology and entrepreneurship. She has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Argentine entrepreneurs by the French Embassy, ​​and as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. She received scholarships to participate in the 2016 edition of the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program of Georgetown University, and in an intensive program for women leaders in Israel sponsored by the Schusterman Foundation. In 2017, the US Embassy selected her to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program focused on STEAM and was recognized for her work on social impact by the United States Congress. In 2018 Sofia was selected as a delegate by Argentina for the Young Entrepreneurs Alliance of the G20. With more than 10 years of experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Sofia has mentored, advised, and helped develop startups, entrepreneurs and corporations. Sofía founded an agency which actually promotes innovation and performance of companies and governments at a regional level. At the same time she writes about technology and business in the newspaper La Nación.