Laura I. Gómez, Founder of Atipica
In a male-dominated industry where only three percent of the workers are Hispanic, Laura I. Gómez is not only making a name for herself, but blazing a trail for Latinas to come.
She gives back by being a role model as an entrepreneur who values and promotes diversity, through her participation on civic boards and by mentoring students in East Palo Alto, Calif.
Gómez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. Her undocumented family immigrated to California when she was 10 and settled in Redwood City, on the edge of Silicon Valley. Her tech industry introduction began with a Hewlett Packard (HP) internship when she was 17.
“Find what you’re passionate about and go for it,” she said. “My passion has always been women and technology.”
Gómez has also worked as the Head of Twitter en Español; the Head of Localization at Twitter; an ESPN consultant, and an Internationalization, Localization and International Product expert for Jawbone. Most recently, she founded Atipica to address the diversity issues in the tech industry.
In a December 2014 USA Today article, journalist Laura Mandaro pointed out that one-third of Vyv’s staff is female and two-thirds are Latin American or Middle Eastern, mostly working abroad. It reflects Gómez’s commitment to diversify the sector.
She serves with California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and other policymakers on the board of the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.
“Something that is really dear to my heart,” Gómez said in the May 2014 Nueva Latina, “is seeing more Latinas in entrepreneurship. I want to be able to give back … to another Latina …”
She also volunteers her time mentoring at Eastside Prep, an East Palo Alto college preparatory school, which its website describes as “committed to opening new doors for students historically underrepresented in higher education.”
“Culturally we are very much about giving,” she wrote about Latinos for this HIPGivers article. “So to formalize your passion and give back is ideal.”
Gómez credited her mother for this commitment to philanthropy. “She’s so selfless and so giving,” she said. “She’s the one who pushed me toward entrepreneurship. Definitely, I think she has taught me humility, and to be selfless and giving.”
Gómez said that authenticity also has helped her to succeed.
“Being very honest around my own path in discussing immigration, technology, diversity and entrepreneurship,” contributed to her professional achievements, she added.
In striving to change the tech landscape for Latinas, Gómez is also setting a standard for achievement with genuine, humble grace.