This Vancouver entrepreneur is helping moms break into tech
Elena Inurrategui aims to disrupt a predominantly male industry by raising women up
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Elena Inurrategui thinks workplaces need a lot more “mom.”
The 32-year-old Vancouver woman, who has built a career consulting on customer relationship management software Salesforce, is seeking to transform tech by empowering more women — especially moms — to take on careers in that growing industry, which employs predominantly men.
In 2011 only 22.7 per cent of science and technology jobs in Canada were held by women. To Inurrategui that means an important perspective is largely missing from tech spaces.
“Mothers know how to balance their personal lives and work lives better. And that’s something that everyone should learn,” Inurrategui said. “Let’s be honest we should all be more like mothers and stop asking mothers to be more like the rest of the world.”
Inurrategui runs a consulting company that helps non-profits in Latin America improve their work using customer relationship technology. She has two female business partners — one in Rome, and one in Argentina — and they’re building a woman-centred company that trains women to break into tech.
Their first educational program launch is an online course in Spanish aimed specifically at helping moms reenter the workforce as Salesforce administrators.
That goal hits close to home for Inurrategui. When she was on maternity leave she took online coding courses, and participated in the Salesforce community from her home while she stayed with her young daughter. She ended maternity leave with a lucrative “Salesforce MVP” distinction and job offers every week.
“It’s not like during maternity I was isolated. I just wasn’t working,” she said. She now wants to harness the power of what she calls “tribal” female mentorship cycles so women can follow in her footsteps.
“You need a tribe to raise your kids but you also need a tribe to improve your career,” she said. She calls the training program Academia Tribo: “That’s kind of the idea: how each of us can empower other women and stop thinking that tech careers is just for kids that are right out of college and high school.”
Inurrategui credits a former female boss and the inspiration of her “matriarchal” family with kick starting her own successful career.
“My boss — she was amazing. She just had my back in a way that I wish to replicate with others.” she said.