The presence of women in tech is dismal in the United States, and even more so in Mexico. There are many women, however, who are working hard to fix the gender gap. One of these women is Blanca Trevino. Trevino is the co-founder, president, and CEO of Softtek, a Mexican company standing as the largest IT vendor in Latin America.
She is also a board member for Wal-Mart Mexico and the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). Trevino works tirelessly for her company and to inspire women to work in tech, despite the many obstacles in their way.
Trevino founded Softtek in 1982, and has since built it into a global empire that offers application software development, security, and numerous other IT solutions for 300+ corporations in over 20 countries. Trevino and her partners accomplished all of this without the help of venture capital. They built a company that generates revenue of over $500 m a year by putting all of their profits back into the company.
Through her success, Trevino is able to offer advice to women who are trying to break into the field. She works hard to inspire women and to show them, through her experience, that it is possible to gain a leadership role in a male-dominated IT industry.
Her formula for success is simple: “Don’t focus on the obstacles you face, but focus on the skills and talents you bring to the field. It’s all about mindset.”
Trevino’s focus on looking inside at what you can bring to the table, as opposed to looking at the things in your way, is important in a field that has so many obstacles against women. In fact, the gender gap in computing jobs has gotten worse in the last 30 years. In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors in the US were women. In 2014, however, the number dropped to 18 percent.
Further, while the industry’s rate of job creation is much larger than the national average, a study estimates that women will only hold 20 percent of US computing jobs by 2025. These statistics are even worse in Latin America.
Trevino’s experience has led her to offer three pieces of advice to women looking to launch a startup in technology. “1. Start by developing a big idea and commit to it. 2. Don’t spend [time] thinking about obstacles; instead, focus on your strengths. 3. Find great partners. It is easier to start a business if you share your dream with someone else. As a woman who often has to juggle work and family, having a support system can help you boost the odds of your success,” Trevino says.
Trevino is an incredible role model for women working towards leadership positions in any field. She began her work in the mid-‘80s, a time in which it was highly uncommon for women in Mexico to go to college, and even more uncommon for them to work in the IT field.
Trevino has watched the progress since her time in college, noting, “One thing that’s changed is that there are female role models — such as Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook — who have been able to make it. This gives women confidence they too can succeed.” Trevino is one of these role models, inspiring women to pursue what they are passionate about through her incredible determination and success.
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