She used to work as a cleaning lady and, with the support of Intel and PrograMaria, is now a product designer for the multinational giant.

says Ursula Ariel Souza da Silva, a transgender woman and product designer for a beer market giant.

Ursula is from Macapa, the capital of Amapá, and she took her first steps in the world of programming at the Faculty of Information Systems, in a private institution. The dream did not last long. Due to financial and personal problems, Ursula only attended one semester.

After a hiatus, he’s back this time with a greater focus on graphic design. Despite all the accumulated knowledge, Ursula could not find an official job. He did independent work here, and another there, usually for people in his social circle, and that was the most he could manage.

She used to work as a cleaning lady and, with the support of Intel and PrograMaria, is now a product designer for the multinational giant 1
Ursula is a product designer for a giant in the beer market. Photo: Ursula Ariel/Personal Archive

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Bias in job interviews was evident and the outcome is not hard to imagine. Even with the willingness and willingness to continue in the programming field, the path was arduous and Úrsula had to look for other sources of income, Cleaning up for a while to supplement their earnings.

“No matter how hard you try, it’s not up to you in the traditional marketplace. You just don’t generate value by being what you are. So, she doesn’t deserve a chance,” Ursula commented.

Everything changed between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. A talent almost lost due to a lack of motivation finally blossomed and took Ursula to what she is today.

More diversity in technology

During this break, Ursula was introduced to the Eu ProgrAmo online course from Marie’s programa social impact company whose mission is to increase diversity in technology, and promote empowerment and communication among transgender women, associations, and other sexual minorities in the region.

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“Someone said to me, ‘Why don’t you try going back to programming? “I just cleared my mind and when search engines started serving up information, I saw PrograMaria and said ‘I’m going to get a job and change my story!’ It was aimed at me. The dynamic is very comprehensive. They put a lot of effort into making the environment safe,” Ursula said.

The online course Eu ProgrAmo covers the initial concepts of HTML, CSS, Logical Programming and Java Script, as well as tips for pursuing a career in technology. Students have access to a platform with 6 modules, broken down into over 300 minutes of video lessons, over 40 code exercises and other activities, as well as a discussion forum with teachers to ask questions.

She used to work as a cleaning lady and, with the support of Intel and PrograMaria, is now a product designer for the multinational giant 2
Ursula learned the most widely used programming language today. Photo: Ursula Ariel/Personal Archive

The impact is huge: more than 11,500 people already have access to the web programming content offered by the social startup. Other important data: 68% have a family income per capita of one minimum wage and 75% do not work, which indicates that the course also has one of its goals to generate greater inclusion for low-income people.

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This goal was achieved, in large part thanks to Partnership with Intel. Since April 2021, Intel and PrograMaria have held a series of events and meetings that seek to train and bring more black and transgender women into technology through the initiative called #MoreDiversidadeNaTecnologia#.

“Partnering with Intel was essential for us to be able to expand the impact of our mission, demystifying the programming world by thinking about true diversity and inclusion of transgender and transgender people. With Intel’s support, it was possible to increase 800% overall rate of transvestites and transsexuals in the courseIana Chan, CEO and founder of PrograMaria commented.

Overcome 400 scholarships initially planned, throughout 2021, made available #MaisDiversidadeNaTecnologia 550 full and exclusive scholarships for transsexuals. Eight groups were formed, made up of participants from 21 different states or who live abroad.

seed of opportunity

At the end of the course, the doors open and Úrsula is a clear example of this.

After graduation, she had the opportunity to study product design. At the same time, he joined a training program in a giant in the beer market for those who wish to enter or benefit from their careers in the field of Information Technology (IT).

There, Ursula learned advanced front-end and worked for nine months as a front-end developer. Recently, he started a new course at the company, now as a product designer. To get here, the Eu ProgrAmo online course was essential, he guarantees.

Knowledge in programming was important to this achievement. They really need a designer with technical knowledge in programming.”

The information technology market is one of the most in need of skilled labour. To give you an idea, until 2024 Brazil has a scope 420,000 IT professionals requested. Brazilian universities train, on average, 45,000 professionals annually, according to Brasscom (Association of Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Technology Companies). Hence the importance of initiatives such as PrograMaria, which are essential to help meet this demand and, above all, aim for greater diversity in technology.

Ursula is a symbol of this movement and we will be here to commend every achievement you have achieved! 👏

Ursula changed her life with technology and other people too. In the year that Intel completes 35 years in the country, we’ll tell some of those stories here.

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