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Women should Build Resilience, says Diversity Leader, María Fernanda Trochimezuk

This is a part of blog series featuring Women Leaders on the occasion of International Women's Day 2022, and adds to our project Drones for Daughters - that inspires young girls for playing leadership roles in emerging technologies, aviation technologies and future of aerial mobility and bridging the gender gap in these industries.

María Fernanda Trochimezuk

Founder and Diversity Chief Officer, IOScholarships

United States

Tell us About You! What do you do and where are you from?

In 2000, I moved to the U.S. from Buenos Aires, Argentina on a postgraduate scholarship in marketing and public relations at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and later was selected to be a part of Stanford's prestigious Latino entrepreneurship initiative. I am the Founder of IOScholarships, a platform to provide access to scholarships worth almost $38 million for students of diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

What inspired you to do what you have been doing?

IOScholarships was inspired by my own experience as I was very fortunate to access scholarships to attend prestigious universities and realized that more could be done to support minority students especially now as STEM education becomes more and more important to workforce opportunities.

As a leader, what is the most important task that you have taken on your shoulders?

During the pandemic building a company and being a first-time mom (47) at the same time.

What kind of ecosystem reforms do you see happening in the next few years that will favour a gender-balanced world?

Full and effective participation of women in decision-making around ecosystems is critical and increasing female board representation is a key reform to be implemented in the next few years.

This year's theme for International Women's Day is Break the Bias. So what is the most awkward, most uncomfortable bias that you faced and what do we do to change that?

I’ve gotten remarks like, "I didn’t expect someone Hispanic…and female to be like this”. If organizations are truly interested in retaining and advancing women, they will approach the issue of gender bias the same way they conduct other business issues: establishing objective metrics and holding themselves accountable.

What's your message for millions of daughters out there who are waiting to get inspired by you?

Build resilience by learning from your mistakes

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