#ScrumFEM is changing the lives of 10 women in Uruguay

Some are mothers and unemployed. Others are also the main breadwinners in their households. They live in different situations but have something in common: their desire to develop combined with the lack of resources to make it possible. 9 of them are now internationally certified as Scrum Masters and we could not be prouder.

By Natalie Rodgers

The beauty of democracy is sustained by the values of equity. Access to education is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools to achieve more equitable societies, with greater development and equal opportunities. 

At Abstracta, we are always thinking of ways to help on this path. That is why in March we opened the call for #ScrumFEM, a free Scrum Master course and access to the corresponding international certification for 10 people. The program was intended for those who identify with the female gender, live in the interior of Uruguay, and are eager to develop as Scrum Masters but lack the necessary financial resources to cover the costs.

“This type of initiative gives access to Scrum Master training to people who otherwise might not have it, as well as to the information we have to share with them. All of this gives them new job opportunities and also opens their minds to options they were not considering,” said Katherine Nuñez, who is part of Abstracta’s People Care team and was in charge of the selection.

“This type of project is very important because it creates new possibilities that bring unemployed people into a field where there is a lot of work. Not all jobs in IT companies involve work only with technology, but also with processes and team management,” outlined Gabriel Ledesma, Leadership Coach at Abstracta and co-founder of the agile community in Uruguay, who offered this free course at #ScrumFEM.

The project became a reality and took on a remarkable dimension very quickly. In just a few days, 165 people signed up and an arduous selection process that consisted of several stages began.

The greatest complexity was the fact that more than 160 women signed up with the desire to grow, retrain and continue learning. It was very difficult to leave many behinds, but we only had room for 10 for this opportunity. Having a clear idea of our target audience helped us a lot to move forward,” said Katherine. 

“The interviews were very enriching; they generated very interesting reflections. They allowed us to see how we all have something in common and how we can learn from each other’s stories. We were able to make bonds that connect us and realize that together we can go further,” she continued.

We are very proud to announce that the 10 participants actively participated in the course and 9 of them obtained the international certificate. Undoubtedly, this has opened new doors for their professional future. This is of profound significance in a labor market where there is a notable gender gap.

According to the World Bank’s report “Playing an Unequal Game”, women are the most affected in terms of unemployment in Uruguay. And, comparatively, the problem is much deeper in the interior of the country. At the regional level, according to a 2021 IDB publication, only 14% of Latin American and Caribbean firms are owned by women and 15% of management positions are held by women.

Even so, fortunately, in recent years there have been great advances in this regard. According to a publication by UN Women and ECLAC, there is a “very considerable” reduction in the gender gap in private sector labor income between 1990 and 2018 in Uruguay.

At Abstracta we work daily to be an active part of building a more equitable world. We know that there are improvements, but the existing gaps are still there and are well visible. So we try to make a contribution to help mitigate this situation.

“In the course, I saw women who need to work, both economically and emotionally. I saw tenacity and the desire to better themselves. #ScrumFEM is a project that possibly encourages that there are always things to do if you have tenacity, desire, and a positive mentality”, emphasized Gabriel.

We are proud to introduce you to the first generation of #ScrumFEM participants.

Andrea is 38 years old, lives in Rafael Perazza, in the department of San José, Uruguay, and is the mother of a 6-year-old son. She does not have a formal job but has some work projects related to imports and insurance. 

“At the moment I could not have access to training due to economic reasons. But I am very grateful for the opportunity they are giving me. Undoubtedly, this will mark a before and after in my life.”

“I hope to be able to internalize the technique and be able to effectively and efficiently lead the group to success by using the group towards success using the methods I have learned. I feel that the learning is not only going to serve me for work relationships but to apply it in other aspects of life. And, in some way, contribute to others, helping them with their organization.”

Oriana is 20 years old, was born in Rosario, in the department of Colonia, Uruguay, but lives in Juan Lacaze. She is currently studying for a degree in Labor Relations and is unemployed.

“I would not have had the possibility of accessing Scrum if it were not for this program. First of all, I am not even indirectly in contact with the impact of these methodologies. But I have been unemployed for about 2 months, and I have found myself in a strong process of self-knowledge and expansion in terms of work. This made me rethink the possibility of investigating other spaces and other ways to develop tasks, devise, lead and create a vision that appeals to projections and teamwork. On the other hand, financially it would have been unsustainable for me to access a training course of this nature.” 

“Being part of #ScrumFEM is an opportunity. As such, I believe it will have a strong and necessary impact on my life. I appeal primarily to the fact that what I have learned will help me to project myself in work environments. And that these are not only a job but spaces that I choose to inhabit. In addition, I am interested in decentralizing knowledge, to be able to contribute to more and better human relations in social work, in the educational/academic field, and of course in labor matters.”

Carmen is 34 years old, was born in Tachita, Venezuela, but currently lives in Sauce, in the department of Canelones, Uruguay. She has a degree in Education with a major in Spanish and Literature and a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing. She is a software tester and also defines herself as an expert in eCommerce, Copywriting, and Community Manager. She is a mom of a 15-month-old baby girl and is unemployed.  

“Although I have been looking for a job, since I arrived four years ago I have not achieved anything. Only I only worked as a rural laborer with my husband. No one has given me a chance to demonstrate my knowledge, skills, and abilities. The course I paid for to become a master in Digital Marketing I did with what I gathered as a rural laborer in the hope of changing my life here. The courses I have taken with Abstracta Academy have been free of charge because of the support of the Intendencia, UNHCR, and especially because of the support of ReconverTIte. In short, I could not pay to have access to the course and certification as SCRUM Master.”

“My expectations are to generate new learning, develop new skills, and have access to a job opportunity in the nearer future. Scrum is a paradigm shift in the way we organize and visualize projects and teamwork in general, regardless of the industry of the field or area of knowledge where it is applied. I plan to apply what I have learned in learning processes, professional growth projects, and the first job opportunity I have. I am still looking for an opportunity not only for professional growth but also for job placement, for my future and my daughter’s future”.

Jenifer is 35 years old, and was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but lives in Tacuarembó. She has a degree in Biological Sciences and is unemployed.

“Without #ScrumFEM I would not have been able to access this course since I am unemployed and could not afford it. I decided to sign up for this program because it seemed like a good opportunity to access the course.”

“My expectations are to learn more about SCRUM in order to have more job opportunities, I think it would improve my chances of getting a job.”

Karina is 48 years old, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been living in Uruguay for 6 years. She has a degree in Computer Science, is unemployed, and is about to start the validation of her degree in Uruguay. She has 2 daughters: one 21 years old and one 15 years old.

“I have always believed in continuous education and therefore it is an investment to pay for my academic preparation. But at this time it would have been difficult to access. So when I saw that there was a chance to participate for free, I didn’t hesitate for a moment.”

“My goal for this year is to resume my career. So I am preparing and updating myself in different areas. This course allows me to go in that direction. All the knowledge that we acquire over the years brings a new perspective, a new vision. My expectations are focused on learning the method to add a new plus to my professional profile, which will allow me to guarantee the execution of any process in an optimal way. There is no doubt that #Scrumfem will bring invaluable knowledge that I will be able to apply in various areas.”

Laura is 53 years old, was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but lives in El Pinar, Ciudad de la Costa, in the department of Canelones. She studied Business Administration and Ontological Coaching, and works as an entrepreneur, without a dependency relationship. She has 2 children, 23 and 26 years old respectively. 

“#ScrumFEM came as an excellent opportunity for my updating plan. I belong to the +50 generation. Although I have vast experience leading teams and processes, I am starting what I define as my 2nd stage of professional life. At this point, I find myself going through the plan according to what the new work contexts require. #ScrumFEM is not only an economic opportunity but also an additional motivation for its message of the inclusion of women in the world of technology. I am empowering to empower.”

“#ScrumFEM can be the starting point to achieve to belong again to a work team. To a new organization and especially to do it in the world of technologies and associated processes. Also in finding new niches for my entrepreneurship as a Coach, and from here to the Metaverse! There is no age or gender to belong to this world of technology, only judgments that limit us. It excites and motivates me.”

Guadalupe was born in Concepción del Uruguay, province of Entre Ríos, Argentina, but lives in the city of Paysandú, Uruguay. She is a Special Education teacher and is currently in the process of retraining. She is training as a software tester at Abstracta Academy and is also studying in the Ceibal Youth to Program Program. She has a one-and-a-half-year-old son and is actively looking for a job.

“Without the opportunity provided by #ScumFEM, it would not have been possible to access a course of this nature and its corresponding certification because my current economic situation makes it difficult for me.”

“I consider that ScrumFEM can change my current perspective in terms of job development, providing me with tools that will allow me to develop in the area I want. This experience will have a positive impact on all aspects of my life. I believe that women in the IT area can equally lead teams and projects. This initiative will mark a before and after in my life as it will provide me with a unique opportunity for growth and learning.”

María is 35 years old, and was born in Florida but lives in Durazno, Uruguay. Currently, she is a student, housewife, and mother of a 19-month-old girl.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, in a field that is becoming more and more relevant and in which there are many job offers. There is a lot of work to be done in this field, and the subject matter is very interesting. In addition to this, the teacher Gabriel Ledesma has a lot of experience in the area. area.”

“I am going to apply what I have learned in the search for a new job that will allow me the reconversion I long for. And to develop myself in activities that I like in an area that I am passionate about and that I did not know until recently, the IT area. I am sure it will give me the opportunity to transform myself by starting a new path. With the freedom to go to an office every day or not every day to an office. Being able to enjoy my daughter’s growth without missing so many important moments in her life. In addition, it will bring me a new perspective and professional way of organization that will help me in countless ways.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of it.”

Tania is 34 years old, was born in the Department of Colonia, and lives in Colonia Valdense. She is a Social Communication Technician and Marketing Analyst. She is the mother of Chiara, 11 months old, and is currently unemployed.


“I decided to sign up because I think it is a very good training opportunity, which can open many doors in my job search.

“I think Scrum is a paradigm shift. It is getting out of the comfort zone, so it represents a challenge. As Ledesma expressed in the informative talk: ‘it is learning to see uncertainties as possibilities and not as problems’. I think Scrum is a tool to be able to adapt quickly to changes, so it can be very useful to join new areas of work”.

Valeria is 35 years old, she was born in Montevideo but lives in Canelones. She is a Foreign Trade and International Transport Technician and is currently studying for a degree in Business Management and Administration. She is not employed but is very enterprising. She is working on her own business while raising her children: Paulina, only 6 days old, Camilo, 2 and a half years old, and Thiago, 6 years old. 

“I had researched about Scrum but the informative talk held about #ScrumFem greatly influenced the organization of my routine to sign up and be able to accommodate everything in case there was an opportunity to take the course. At this point, it would have been impossible for me to afford the course.”

“I plan to evaluate what I learned according to the current processes of my company to check how to put them into practice. And reevaluate all the processes to optimize them. I also evaluate the possibility of applying it to other entrepreneurial projects to be mentored in the future. In many ventures group work is not considered because it is difficult to manage. I plan to have another tool to change this vision with Scrum.” 

Would you like to know more about #ScrumFEM? We invite you to read this article, with info about the Scrum framework and statistics that reveal its importance in the current context.

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