Women Speed Up: Advancing Tech Education for Women in Bolivia
- Written by Tatiana Claudia Rengel Tarquino
Professor Regnault’s words really left a mark on me motivated me to set new goals. It inspired me to be a part of initiatives that contribute to the advancement of technological education in our society, despite the challenges that many people–particularly women–face to access this education.
Currently, I am the executive director of the Women Speed Up Foundation (WSU) in Bolivia, whose primary goal is to increase women’s participation in tech education. I’m excited and proud of everything that I have been able to achieve over the years thanks to the team of WSU and different organizations that trust in our capacity as an organization. We work hand in hand with the CISCO Networking Academy, part of CISCO SYSTEMS, and we fulfill three roles: CISCO Academy, Academy Support Center, and the Instructor Training Center.
Now, under the initiative of Women Speed Up, the support of the CISCO Networking Academy team and thanks to financing from the Embassy of the United States in Bolivia, we have been able to make the program WOMEN IN NETWORK a reality. Our main priorities are to attain the principal objectives of United Nations sustainable development goals SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 5 (gender equality). More specifically, the objective of this project is to teach students to develop skills in a very important subject: computer
networking. These students take the CCNA1: Introduction to Networks course, part of CCNA: CISCO CERTIFIED NETWORK ASSOCIATE V7, through instructors who are trained in our Instructor Training Center.
The program has been successful so far. There are 106 scholarship instructors teaching in the program. The course, which has about 1,500 students owing to scholarships, will end in shortly. At the end of the course, the students will receive certificates, letters of congratulations, and digital badges from the CISCO Networking Academy. We are very excited to see the results of our students, mainly women, who are gaining the knowledge to meet the new demands of the job market, particularly in terms of international certifications. WSU will also continue undertaking different social responsibility projects that benefit people who need more opportunities and do not have the economic resources to pursue them.
This article originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of Perspectives (Page 16).