Data Journalist Nicola Hughes: We Need More Women "Of" the Web, Not Just "On" It

Jul 312013

Chicas Poderosas (Powerful Women), an organization which strives to make women in newsrooms more tech-savvy, is the brainchild of ICFJ Knight Fellow Mariana Santos and her team of digital news experts. Their inaugural meetup in Costa Rica was led by Santos, Irene Ros (programmer at the production company Bocoup), Gianna Segnini (investigative journalist at Costa Rica's La Nacion, who sponsored the event) and Nicola Hughes (data journalist, Times Newspapers Limited). In her recap of the event, Hughes encouraged more women to become involved in initiatives like Chicas Poderosas.

“As a woman whose presence online is just as important in forming my identity as my presence offline, I don’t feel I need a report button. I don’t necessarily believe that the most important thing for a woman getting online is to feel safe and secure but to feel included and empowered. That can sometimes be dangerous. So what I need is more Chicas Poderosas, more Girls Who Code, more Write.Speak.Code. More women being of the web and not just on the web,” Hughes said.

More than 80 journalists from Costa Rican news organizations attended the inaugural meetup.

Chicas Poderosas has received so much positive feedback that it plans to expand its chapter to include meetups in Buenos Aires, Rio, Bolivia and more.

“Chicas Poderosas opened minds. It empowered women by helping them to see how technology can improve their work. Most of all, it brought them together to produce something tangible,” Santos said.