Who we are and why this is important:
Chicas Poderosas is a worldwide network whose goal is to empower and increase the number of women taking leadership roles in news and media organizations.
Since 2013, Chicas Poderosas has been working with women in journalism and media by providing digital and technical skills training, and by establishing local communities of practice. Our communities are now in thirteen countries in Latin America, the USA and Portugal, and have over 3,000 members.
Through our work and research we continue to find that even with training and advanced skills, women in journalism and media continue to lag substantially behind men as leaders in this industry. Generally, women do not hold editorial or top-level management positions, which are key positions in deciding the news that is to be reported, and shared with the public. Additionally, the number of women leading news organizations is almost close to zero. This inequality results in biased reporting and suppresses the voice of women, thereby impacting the rights of women and girls, the social and economic structure, civic engagement, and democratic governance- all of which are detrimental to the well being of more than half the population of Latin America. This situation impacts not only women but also sets the stage for fostering inequality among minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status.
"We continue to live in a region highly unequal for women, especially those from ethnic minorities and living in rural areas. We cannot progress when women’s voices remain at the margins of public policy discussions. This does not only mean increasing women who participate in political office, but also dismantling harmful stereotypes." Camila Bustos, researcher at Dejusticia and Nivela, Bogotá, Colombia.
What we plan to do:
We plan to develop an accelerator, the New Ventures Lab, to develop women-led independent, news and media organizations in Latin America. The women-led news organizations will be representative of the population, be the free press to inform the public on the issues of social importance, and will aim to increase civic engagement among the most vulnerable populations.
How we collaborate in Latin America:
Chicas has a strong collaborative network within Latin America and globally, and we plan to continue to use this network to support our NVL. For example, we will draw on the expertise of independent news organizations’ such as Genero e Número, and Agencia Pública in Sao Paulo, Brazil, FNPI in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and Nómada in Guatemala City, Guatemala as coaches, mentors and trainers. We will draw on our international colleagues from online news such as ProPublica, the BBC News Worldwide, and BuzzFeed to share insights and practices with our entrepreneurs and mentors.
The Chicas communities are inherently collaborative and currently work across borders to support stories, and projects or initiate events that support the greater community. Examples can be found on the Chicas Poderosas Medium Publication, Chicas Poderosas Facebook and ChicasPoderosas.org
Our intersect with peace and prosperity:
Our project bridges peace because women in leadership positions, being responsible to inform and report stories of social importance, will seek opportunities to identify parties, goals, needs, and interests that may be different than the current majority. These women will find room for perspectives beyond the usual sources and will provide opportunities for the society to consider and to value peaceful and alternative responses. Our project bridges prosperity because we are giving women a path to entrepreneurship, elevating their social status as leaders and giving them the tools to build their own sustainable economic future. Journalists are often seen as models within a society and we see the NVL as a model for other women to see the potential within themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs.