One of Atipica’s core values is to build ethical technology with a diverse team. Our modeling relies on inclusive data sets, and our team brings experience in DEI, civic technology, teaching, data science, and internationalization. We build our products and our services with expertise from the lived experiences of our team members.
This month, we are highlighting Atipica’s Business Operations intern, Ella Ayala. Ella is a second year student at San Francisco State University and a Bay Area resident. Ella has been supporting our Customer Success, Data Science, and Sales teams for the last 8 months. In addition to her studies at SF State, Ella is an Ambassador for Built by Girls.
How did you become a Business Operations intern at Atipica?
My dad is a producer for Telemundo, and contacted Laura Gómez, CEO and Founder of Atipica, via a friend to interview her for Hispanic Heritage month. After my dad interviewed Laura, he told me about her journey through the tech industry. As a young Latina in tech, I was so interested in Laura’s journey that I did some light stalking of her Facebook and found out she was looking for an intern. I emailed Laura and came into the office about a month later for an interview. Ever since then I have loved being a part of the company!
Tell us about your experience as a young woman in technology. How does your background and identity come into play as you navigate this industry?
Being completely honest, I used to think the technology industry was a boys club and me being a Latina girl, I could have never imagined myself being a part of it. I was going into my Junior year of high school when I joined the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program held at Electronic Arts in Redwood City. During that summer, I fell in love with the industry. Through meeting powerful women in the industry I really began to understand the phrase “be the change that you want to see.” I would like to say that everyone is equal in the world no matter race or gender, but the truth is that this is not the case. I am an immigrant and so is my family. Unfortunately that comes with a lot of setbacks and social shaming. Fortunately, these obstacles have allowed me to develop a compassion for others that would have otherwise been difficult to obtain if I had not gone through these experiences. Whenever I dedicate my time to something, I inevitably have to question “how will this affect women and how will this affect the Latinx community?” I think that while at another time I would have viewed being Latina as a disadvantage, I now see it as a tool that a lot of people in the industry unfortunately lack.
What is Built By Girls and why is being an ambassador important for you?
#BUILTBYGIRLS is an initiative striving to encourage and empower young girls ages 15-22 to pursue a career in technology. Being an ambassador is really important to me. A few years ago I did not think I could pursue a career in tech, and all it took for me to really believe in myself was to have someone tell me that I could because they did it themselves. I strongly believe that when women motivate and help each other, really great things can happen.
What does belonging look like to you?
Belonging to me looks like someone whose first language was not English being able to joke with their co workers without the fear of being looked down on because of their accent. Belonging to me looks like an immigrant not having to prove their intelligence or value just because everyone around them is a 5th generation American. Belonging to me looks like anybody who does not fit the standard mold thriving and getting the promotions they deserve because at the end of the day those who do not fit the mold are the ones who will bring change for the better and that needs to be recognized.
What is your piece of advice for girls who hope to be technologists one day?
Get involved with clubs directed towards whatever you want to do, and put yourself out there. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be an engineer to work in tech. If you don’t think coding is your thing, it might not be and that is ok. You might be a better fit somewhere else within tech.
Thank you, Ella, for working with us to help our clients in their pursuit of equity! We admire your drive and have learned so much from you.