Things That Matter

These Latinas Are Changing The World With Their Groundbreaking Inventions In Science, Technology, And Engineering

Women are under-represented in the tech sector. Not only that, but they’re underpaid, often passed for promotions and faced with everyday sexism. It’s no wonder women are more likely to leave the industry within a year compared to their male counterparts. But there’s hope. Last week, the MIT Technology Review published a list of the leading Latin American innovators of 2019, and we wanted to highlight the women, who have pushed through in a male-dominated industry and are creating solutions for issues like climate change, terminal illnesses, and other threats. 

In a field that requires women to work alongside men who don’t believe women have the intelligence and inclination to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), these Latina innovators are proving otherwise.

Renee Wittemyer, director of program strategy and investment at Pivotal Ventures —Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation company— says that women, and particularly women of color, “are being systemically left behind.” And, she adds, “these stats are moving at a glacial pace.” According to Wittemeyer, African American women and Hispanic women represent 3% and 1% of tech workers respectively.

There is an extensive underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. 

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce. To make matters worse, only 3 percent of Latina women are working in STEM fields. So these Latina innovators are worth celebrating. 

These scientists, biologists and engineers are making a social impact by solving many of the world’s most complex questions and threatening issues—from climate change to terminal illnesses to social problems.

Here are five Latina innovators shaking up the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) sphere and using technology to create a greater impact for the world:

Lucía Gallardo

technologyreview.es

Lucía Gallardo is the brain behind “Emerge,” a start-up that aims to solve social problems with emerging technologies, such as blockchain, Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). “Through her company, Gallardo tries to bring these tools to people who work on social impact projects, especially in impoverished countries such as her native Honduras. One of Emerge’s main sources of support is women and marginalized communities, who are driven by both technology and advice,” MIT Technology Review writes.

María Alexandra Tamayo

technologyreview.es

This Colombian innovator, is purifying water in a country that has the second-most water resources but where only 8% of households have access to drinking water. This way, the biomedical engineer hopes to avoid diseases and death caused by water.

“This is how NanoPro was born, a device ‘capable of eliminating fungi, viruses and bacteria from water without affecting its taste, smell and color,’ the engineer explains. “The filter can be applied in both rural and urban populations, since it is incorporated both in faucets and in thermoses for those areas whose supply network does not reach homes.” With her invention, Tamayo hopes to democratize the access to drinkable water.

Marcela Torres

technologyreview.es

Marcela Torres wants to help refugees and immigrants in Mexico through “Holacode,” a software she developed to provide immigrants with access to employment and better integrate themselves into society. “Marcela Torres realized that in Mexico there were not enough people with the qualifications needed for the software developer positions that were open in the country, so she decided to use technology to solve the problem,” the MIT magazine wrote. “This is how ‘Holacode’ was born, a start-up that offers software development courses for the migrant community in Mexico.” Holacode offers coding and software courses for migrants in Mexico. The courses lasts five months, and with this start-up, Torres hopes that technology education can become more democratic and accessible. “The start-up allows these jobs to be filled by especially vulnerable people such as migrants.”

María Isabel Amorín

technologyreview.es

Amorín, 28-year-old Guatemalan chemist discovered an innovative way to clean sewage. On top of emissions and the excessive rate at which we are consuming resources, another great impact that global industrial activities have on the planet, is water pollution. In short, textile industries use a lot of chemical dyes for the production of clothing, which not only results in massive water waste but these chemicals can pollute rivers and other bodies of water. 

The Guatemalan chemist, Maria Isabel Amorin, “synthesized a polymer from shrimp shells that’s capable of retaining the dyes used in the textile industry.” According to the MIT Technology Review, “The filter works by recirculating and retaining the dye used to dye clothes. This project is particularly focused on artisanal textile production, since the technologies available to treat the waters are very expensive. Now, the young chemist is in the process of patenting her ecological method of filtration and hopes to scale production.”

Mariel Pérez Carrillo

technologyreview.es

This Mexican biochemical engineer and entrepreneur, helps farmers increase their crop production through Innus Technologies. Carillo recalled, “I went to the countryside to learn from the farmers and I realized that they don’t know how their crop is. They also don’t know what state their soil is in.” She invented Enviro, a device that identifies soil conditions and climate in real time and, from them, offers recommendations to improve crop yields.

Thanks to its sensors, Enviro can measure temperature, humidity, conductivity, pH and salinity. The device can help farmers reduce crop losses. Pérez affirms that Enviro also reduces the need of agricultural supplies, “which reduces the contamination of soil and aquifers caused by to excessive use of agricultural chemicals.” 

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Women Are Sharing Their ‘I’m The One Paying For This, Not My Husband’ Moments And They’re Pretty Cringy

Fierce

Women Are Sharing Their ‘I’m The One Paying For This, Not My Husband’ Moments And They’re Pretty Cringy

Les Lee / Getty

It’s 2021 y’all which means we’re a far cry away from 1974 when it only just became law that credit card companies had to issue cards to women without their husband’s signature. Still, here we are living in a world in which a Reddit post about related issues of today is going viral.

Recently a user by the name of teacherspet5859438e asked women of Reddit to share the times someone wrongly assumed they weren’t picking up the check.

The comments and stories in response to the post came in the thousands.

Check it out below!

“I hope this doesn’t get buried because it’s my absolute favorite thing. My husband and I were buying a new mattress. It was a joint decision on the feel of it, but my decision for the price-point/warranty/etc because I was paying for it. In other words, all the stuff we actually needed the salesperson for. Salesperson was a fine guy, old-fashioned, not overtly rude, but he was definitely talking to my husband more than to me (the one with the money to pay). I noticed but, eh, I’m used to it, I was going to get my info and pay the man. Whatever. My husband, bless him, wandered away all floaty, like he’d never seen a furniture store before (weird, but ok). Then he came back and said, “Hey, can I have some money? I’m going to go check out the (insert dumb little decorative thing in the other part of the store).” I was weirded out because I have never seen him care about a lamp enough to go examine it on his own and also we don’t… we don’t do that? But yeah, I said, sure, and handed him some cash. The salesman IMMEDIATELY stopped paying attention to my husband. Suddenly, in his mind, I was wearing all the pants. He started asking me what I did for a living, etc and I was able to negotiate for a slightly lower price. I love my husband so much. He knew exactly what he was doing.” –HansGruberHangover

“Wasn’t my husband, not even my boyfriend, but a guy friend I happened to have round when a joiner came to fix something in MY home. I welcomed the joiner in, started talking to him about the issue, then he saw my friend and did a 180° to talk to him. He literally turned his back on me while I was mid-sentence. In MY home.”- autumnrenarde

“This is such a common thing. At this point it is humorous because I am the one who is home more and likes to tinker with things, so when something breaks I am the one who can explain the history of things and what fixes I have attempted. My husband doesn’t know the first thing about dishwashers or dryers or chimney sweeping, for example.

Sometimes I refer to myself as Andy in emails to avoid being patronized. It is a reasonable nickname for my name, yet one I never normally use. But people automatically assume they are talking to a guy and I get a different attitude. Sad but true.” –Liepuzieds

“My scenario doesn’t quite fit the bill but I’m a female business owner with a male business partner. I’ve had a few customers born in the dark ages and reps that ask to “speak to my boss” but the worst was a guy who snapped his fingers and told me to “put the kettle on girly”. Needless to say he didn’t get his cuppa and he certainly didn’t get the discount he asked for.” –Blondeinsideandout

“So a while back my wife and I were hitting up local dealerships trying to find a replacement car for her 2006 Nissan subcompact. The first thing I would tell each salesman was that we were shopping around for a daily for her to drive. Honda dealership was stereotypical car salesman “We can’t even let her take a test drive unless she shows intent to buy” Ford dealership ignored her completely and tried to sell me a mustang. Toyota was like, “oh you must want to look at our (insert soccer mom vehicle here)”

But when we got to Mazda I told the sales guy the same thing that we were looking for her next car, and he immediately nodded, turned to her and asked “what do you look for in a car?” And then he just listened to her. He didn’t ask me anything for the rest of the time we were there, focused entirely on her and answering her questions. Never rushed her or pushed her towards a different model. So yeah we’ll probably be getting her a soul red Mazda3 cuz of that guy.” –Raeshkae

“When I was a baby for some reason I wouldn’t “latch on” when my mother breast fed me, so I wasn’t eating well. The doctor completely ignored my mom and only talked to my dad because she was “too hysterical”… He was on the verge of finding out what that looked like…”- TheHitListz

“We wanted a fence around our house. I have always worked from home, and my husband has always worked in a field where he cannot take time to meet with contractors, etc. he and I agree on terms up front and then I make decisions from there. It doesn’t matter in life, but for this story it does: I make more than my husband. We had already agreed on this company based on various factors. A man came over to give an estimate during a work day, which ended up being less than we expected to pay. I was ready to sign the papers and he said “I’d rather talk to your husband about the numbers and get his signature since he will be the one paying for it” I asked him to leave my property and never come back.” –Diligent-Reaction-23

“I also recently went to buy a car during a work day. My husbands car broke down and he was in the middle of a tow. It was a nightmare, and he needed a car ASAP. We had been saving for a replacement, but weren’t expecting to need it for another year. This, we had the cash to buy the car he wanted full out. I went to the dealership with the specs, etc to just get the deal done quick. He asked me if I could come back later in the day with my husband so they could talk “man to man” about the deal. I let him know he just lost a cash deal. I drove 30 minutes to a sister- dealership and made the purchase there. I told the new salesman about my experience at the previous dealership and he said he knew the guy and he was going to rub it in his face at the next regional meeting.” –Diligent-Reaction-23

“I took my colleague out to lunch. He wasn’t a subordinate he was at the same level, however I was given a company card and he wasn’t, due to the nature of our jobs. When the bill came around, the waitress gave it to him because she assumed he would be paying. He graciously grabbed the bill and gave it to me and said “she’s the boss”. Smart move: made me feel validated, and he got a free lunch.” –leafypaq

“I’ve been on the flip side of this. For years, I worked at bicycle shops and regularly sold some pretty expensive bikes. One day, a couple came in. The wife was interested in a bike, and it quickly became apparent that the husband was an overpowering, dominating type. “She wants to do this, she doesn’t want to do that, she likes this, she doesn’t like that” etc. When it became clear she wasn’t being allowed to do much speaking at all, I would let the husband as the question, and I’d reply by physically turning and giving the answer to the wife, making eye contact with her only and pointedly ignoring the husband. It was pretty blatant. She loved it. She lit up, engaged with me, and genuinely seemed to enjoy the process of learning more about riding and getting into a new sport/hobby.” –Cessnateur

“Yeah this side is rough, especially in the tattoo industry. The amount of couples that come in and the husband won’t let the wife talk about the tattoo SHE wants on her body.

Fortunately it’s an Industry where getting told to fuck off is not uncommon, so saying “mate! If you keep talking over the top of your partner, this is going to be a fucking shit tattoo, so how about you wait outside while we finish the consult” is rarely frowned upon. it never goes down well, but fuck those dudes.” –Dormantgoose

“Went to a wedding, had someone there I knew from school and I met his wife. Anytime I’d ask her something he would answer. But I’d ask her cause it was the first time meeting her and I knew her husband. He was controlling and wouldn’t let her talk. I finally got creative and started asking her super girly stuff so that he couldn’t answer. Asked her if she did her own nails and how she did it. I only made eye contact with her and her husband finally shut up.” –treehouseladder

“This. I’m a woman. Where I work I frequently have meetings with couples. It’s SO sad to see how many men demean or try to make their wives look stupid in front of me. I will always defend the wife’s point, or talk directly to her and stop engaging with the man when that happens. It’s actually sad that this happens in the first place and almost always makes me worry about their general well-being in life.” –Xmrtq99

“It’s not so much a particular story but when I was shopping for a car several years ago the salesmen at every dealership kept talking to my husband instead of me even though I was the one who contacted the dealerships and made sure to introduce myself first. My husband got sick of it and started telling them ‘Don’t talk to me, it’s not my car. Talk to her.’ I wound up buying from a saleswoman who treated us equally until she pretty quickly figured out my husband was not involved whatsoever in the decision.” –Dakizo

“Husband and I took my daughter to urgent care for stitches. Husband is holding the kid, and I check her in at the front desk iPad. Front desk man looks to my husband and asks for the insurance card…. we’re on my insurance so I hand him the card. Next he tells my husband the copay, looking at him, behind me, when I’m the one standing at the damn desk. I pull out my card with my name on it, and pay. Asshole.” –Fire-Kissed

“25 years ago my husband and I are looking for our first house. He had just graduated and still had student debt. I had been practicing law and had 20k saved for the downpayment. Real estate agent only spoke to husband, even if I asked the questions. In one house we went to look at the basement and the guy says “you don’t want to go there. It has spiders.” I told my husband I wouldn’t ever buy a house from him. Later the guy ran for office and I told everyone the story including a woman that called me randomly to promote his candidacy. Turns out she was his mother. It’s a small thing but indicative of his attitude toward ‘the fairer sex.’” –defenselaywer

“I am the money person in our relationship and this happens to me all the time. Every car we’ve bought, place we’ve rented, investment we’ve made, you name it. My husband is now very confident in telling the people that if they keep trying to talk to him about it the only decision he will be able to make is telling them to get lost.” –RealCouchwife

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Parler Is Back Online But All Traffic Is Being Routed Through Russian Servers

Things That Matter

Parler Is Back Online But All Traffic Is Being Routed Through Russian Servers

Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Parler, the alt-right social media platform, is back in business. Of course, the app is not supported by American companies. The app is now running all of its information through Russian servers.

Parler is running again thanks to the help of Russian servers.

Parler faced quick discipline after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. The social media platform was one of the key tools organizers of the riot used to organize and mobilize. Amazon, Apple, and Google all stopped carrying Parler, essentially ending the social media platform’s ability to keep running. Parler tried to sue Amazon Web Services to pick up the app again to allow it to continue but a judge ruled against the platform.

“The court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein wrote in the order. “At this stage, on the showing made thus far, neither the public interest nor the balance of equities favors granting an injunction in this case.”

The Russian-backed servers are only providing partial support but it’s a slippery slope.

Parler has hired DDoS-Guard, is a Russian digital infrastructure company that threw the platform a lifeline. While the server is only providing a defense against denial-of-service, critics are concerned that it still poses a significant risk. All of the traffic on Parler is going through those servers leaving the users vulnerable to Russian surveillance.

“Now seems like the right time to remind you all—both lovers and haters—why we started this platform,” reads Parler’s current homepage. “We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential … We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon.”

DDoS-Guard has a history of working with racist and far-right groups.

CEO John Matze is confident that the app will be fully restored by the end of January. The social media app has been banned and dropped from major American tech companies after the insurrection. Amazon will not restore the app but the app has said that they retrieved their info from Amazon.

READ: Latino Congressman Lou Correa Fights Back at Insurrectionist Trump Supporters Who Harassed Him at a D.C. Airport

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