In 2021, the Mexican Bureau of Statistics revealed a gender gap in academic pathways, with women representing only 26.8% of ICT and STEM students. This imbalance translated into a 17% representation in related jobs, resulting in missed business opportunities for women. 

With this scenario in mind, and with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicting that 80% of all jobs will be related to STEM careers by 2030, addressing the gender gap and challenging stereotypes became imperative. Increasing the number of women in the industry is key to enabling them to fully participate and thrive in one of the fastest-growing sectors in today's changing world.

In response, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) implemented the Conectadas program from January 2022 until its conclusion in June 2023. This initiative equipped 761 young women between the ages of 16 and 29 from low-income communities across Mexico with technical, life and work skills, as well as mentorship and support. The program focused on providing relevant industry skills in IT support, cybersecurity, or programming (Python) while integrating technical, socio-emotional, vocational, and job readiness training.

"The Conectadas community has completely shifted my perspective on IT. It's amazing to be a part of a group of like-minded women who not only share the same ideals but also inspire me to enhance both my personal and professional self." - Kareni Mendoza, Conectadas Graduated.

In addition to directly benefiting 761 young women, Conectadas aimed to raise awareness among industry employers and combat gender-biased hiring practices through roundtable discussions and an awareness campaign. The program concluded as a transformative step toward promoting inclusivity and diversity in the dynamic landscape of ICT careers.

Conectadas 2023 - iyf


Program Focus

  • Life Skills, Gender & Economic Opportunity


  • 2022–2023




  • Across Mexico with a focus on Mexico City, State of Mexico and Nuevo Leon.

Targeted Youth

Professional Field

  • IT

Additional Resources


Katia Moreno , Deputy Program Director , [email protected]