Editor’s note: For Women’s History Month, The Root is celebrating women from a wide range of professional industries in our video series Women at Work.
Ariel Lopez and Janel Martinez are two Afro-Latinx millennials living in the Bronx, N.Y. And they’re techies, too.
“I think tech is the most important industry. It is the lifeline of the economy right now. It is the only industry that intersects with everything else,” Lopez told The Root.
But with a tremendous diversity issue within the industry, how does one who isn’t white and male break through and navigate?
Puzzled by the same question, Lopez and Martinez went on to found tech startup 2020Shift, where they work as the chief executive officer and chief content officer, respectively.
“We’re playing the game, but at a different angle,” said Martinez, who is also the founder of popular blog Ain’t I Latina?
2020Shift offers skills-training in digital media and technology, and also partners with recruiters to help them find talent. In addition, the company brings attention to noncoding and nonengineering jobs.
“It’s really just breaking down all of those barriers that people build up in their minds, into thinking: ‘This is what I have to look like, this is what I have to learn, and this is where I have to work in order to actually be in tech,’” Lopez told The Root.