Meet Joliz Cedeño, Executive Director at Techqueria:

Joliz Cedeño is the Executive Director at Techqueria, a thriving community of Latiné tech professionals. Born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, Joliz’s upbringing highlighted the power of community support. Her interest in tech began with creating fan sites, leading to a career that combines technology and social justice.

Joliz has worked with organizations like V-Day and CodeNation, empowering youth and advocating for social issues through tech. She joined Techqueria while at CodeNation, and her passion for the community led her to her current leadership role. Joliz continues to champion inclusive tech spaces and support the Latiné tech community.

Listen Up: Joliz Cedeño, Executive Director at Techqueria — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Joliz Cedeño

Quick Read: Joliz Cedeño, Executive Director at Techqueria, Interview Highlight

Diversity and Inclusion: Driving Success in Tech

Welcome to another episode of Default Global, where I, Vitaly Koval, delve into resilience and transformation in the tech world. In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Joliz Cedeño, Executive Director of Techqueria. We explored her journey, Techqueria’s mission and the significance of diversity and inclusion (DEI) in the tech industry.

Joliz Cedeño’s Journey to Techqueria and her Commitment to Community Building

Born in New York City and raised in Barcelona, Puerto Rico, Joliz experienced a community-based support system from a young age. This sense of community, she explains, was integral to her upbringing and ingrained in her Latina culture. She carried this commitment to community and equity into her professional journey.

Joliz shared:

“What really made it a big turn in my career is that I saw all the people that I was a fan of weren’t represented online… I taught myself how to code so I could make fan sites, and that’s how I got into tech,”

Techqueria’s Mission and Key Initiatives

Techqueria operates with a mission to empower Latiné professionals in tech, focusing on career development, support, retention, and career progression. Techqueria, a nonprofit, emphasizes the importance of community – it was created as a space for Latiné professionals to connect and support each other.

Joliz stated:

“Techqueria at its core is a community… This was a space created so that folks can have not just connections and networking to folks within the industry, but also have that cultural connection to get that makes folks understand where you’re coming from, and what you’re navigating within the tech industry as a Latina person.”

Challenges for Latiné Professionals in Tech

Techqueria recognizes the challenges that Latiné professionals face. Joliz pointed out that Latiné professionals often find themselves in customer service roles or stuck at the entry level. They face considerable challenges in moving up within their companies, and their skills and abilities are often not properly acknowledged or valued. She emphasized the need for companies to invest in creating a space mindful of everyone in it.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Tech

Joliz touched on the importance of diversity and inclusion in tech, highlighting the fact that the companies that prioritize DEI tend to have high levels of employee satisfaction, employee output, and employee retention.

Joliz stated:

“Diversity and inclusion contribute to business growth and innovation,”

By having a diverse team and implementing DEI policies, companies can identify its blind spots and take steps to rectify them, leading to increased innovation and productivity.

Advice for Latiné Professionals in Tech

Joliz encourages Latiné professionals in tech to continually learn and grow, but most importantly, to invest in their community. She emphasizes the importance of respectful and kind interactions as they never know where these interactions could lead in their professional journey.

In conclusion, Joliz Cedeño’s insights offer a heartfelt and valuable perspective on the importance of diversity, inclusion, and community in tech. As the tech industry continues to evolve and expand, it’s clear that organizations like Techqueria will play a vital role in fostering inclusive, supportive, and dynamic work environments.