Chicas Poderosas is a global community that ignites change by inspiring and developing women and LGBTTQI+ people in media and creating opportunities for all voices to be heard.


Mariana Santos founded the organization as an ICFJ Knight Fellow in 2013, to address the gender gap in newsrooms specially in Latin America. As a fellow at Stanford University between 2014 and 2015, Mariana pushed the organization to the next level.

The aim of Chicas Poderosas since its creation has been to promote female leadership and gender equality in media. From leadership positions at media companies to bylines, and also as sources or people featured in the news, women are underrepresented. This generates an editorial agenda with a limited perspective, excluding women’s voices and issues from public debate. Furthermore, women’s underrepresentation in the media perpetuates inequalities. 

To address the gender gap in media, Chicas Poderosas offers professional training to provide women in media with the concrete skills they need to take their media career to the next level, boost entrepreneurial projects, and push forward female leadership in journalism. As a community, Chicas Poderosas offers women in media the support of a network, which serves as a space to exchange knowledge and experiences, and provide access to possibilities to develop their careers. Chicas Poderosas is also changing the narrative to transform the world, by promoting spaces for the creation of collaborative journalism projects. Learn more about what we do.

Today, Chicas Poderosas has an engaged and talented network of over 6,000 women across 16 countries in Latin America – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, México, Perú, Guatemala, Venezuela –, and Spain, Portugal, and the United States. 

In 8 years

Chicas Poderosas impacted 10,000+ women 

in 16 countries.


Chicas Poderosas believes in a world of informed and equal societies where all voices are heard.


These are the values that represent the Chicas Poderosas community, that guide our interactions, programs and projects:

  • Collaboration: we believe excellence is achieved by working towards a common goal and embracing diversities.
  • Inclusiveness: we create safe spaces open to all people and all truths to build women-led initiatives.
  • Commitment: we believe in building a community based on trust, accountability and ownership.
  • Transparency: we believe in being open and sincere about all our practices and actions.
  • Authenticity: we believe in embracing our own power and standing with our whole self.

And we believe we rise by lifting others, quoting the words of Robert Ingersoll.


In its seven years of existence, Chicas Poderosas has reached several milestones. Here are some of them:

  • Stanford Knight Foundation Journalism Fellowship granted to Mariana Santos to develop Chicas Poderosas in 2015. 
  • Chicas Poderosas’ Fellowships were granted to six members of our community to intern abroad at major media outlets, like NPR, The Guardian, WSJ, The FiveThirtyEight, WNYC, Genero e Numero.
  • Prize for innovation in workflow awarded to a Chicas Poderosas investigation at Hacks and Hackers Media Party 2018.


Chicas Poderosas is built on a foundation of respect. As a community focused on women, it seeks to create a safe space for personal and professional development. The alchemy of Chicas Poderosas relies on allies and champions who understand that there’s enormous untapped female potential, and that the key to unlocking it is clearing the effects of decades of social, cultural, and sexual oppression. Turning self-doubt into possibility requires building a space free from those forces.

To ensure respect, safety and a collaborative interaction during all the interactions that involve the community, in 2017 Chicas Poderosas adopted an official Code of Conduct built by community members. 

– This code of conduct has to be read, acknowledged and accepted by any person who participates in our activities both offline and online, as ambassadors team members,, workshop trainers, speakers, sponsors, allies, volunteers, and general public who attend Chicas Poderosas events:

– We avoid insulting, humiliating or intimidating expressions or gestures when referring to others, whether online or in person.

– We avoid any type of behaviors that limit expressions of identity, gender, political ideals or religious beliefs, as well as any behavior that censors, hurts or attacks others, or isolates them.

– We do not tolerate physical conducts and attitudes aimed at personally, physically or emotionally discrediting any person.

– We do not accept sexist, racist or other forms of discriminatory jokes or comments, either online or in person.

– We completely reject improper or unwanted sexual advances, whether online or in person.

– We reject outright any attitudes of online or in person harassment.

– We reject harassment: this is to be understood as any form of verbal comment that reinforces discrimination based on gender, or the expression of identity and gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body measurements, race, age or religious in work or social contexts.

– We avoid spreading sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassment with photography or recording, sustained interruptions during keynotes and meetings, and other uncomfortable interactions, whether online or in person.

– We do not tolerate unwelcome physical contact and sexual remarks or considerations.

– We defend equal access to opportunities in skillbuilding, education, professional exchange and feedback before, during and after our events.

In case you witness or are subjected to actions or behaviors similar to the above-mentioned situations, please contact [email protected], or reach out to the organizers of the event you’re attending, via WhatsApp or in person if you feel uncomfortable.
Download the PDF version of the Code of Conduct of Chicas Poderosas


To carry out its programs and continue to strengthen local communities, Chicas Poderosas operates with a global team:

Mariana Santos – Executive Director and Founder

Mariana is the founder of Chicas Poderosas, she runs the organizations as executive director together with a team of female leaders from different industries and backgrounds. The power of diversity and collaboration has driven her life and today she is living the dream of running her own organization in a shared governance model, extending the potential of co-creation to create spaces for all voices to be heard. Learn more about Mariana.

Carmen Garcia Gonzalez – Communications Director

Carmen is a multimedia journalist, digital strategist and communications specialist with over 10 years of experience in the social, educational and commercial sector. She has collaborated with human rights centers, nonprofit organizations and collectives working with migrants, women, children, indigenous resistance and marginalized groups in Mexico, Ireland and Greece. Carmen has coordinated multidisciplinary and international teams in multimedia content development and short documentary films production with the objective of subverting narratives and placing life at the center. Learn more about Carmen.

Louise Akemi Iza Trindade – Program Director

Louise is a human rights activist, working for over 10 years with social and gender justice in collective and non-profit organizations. She is one of the founders of Mídia NINJA network, where she worked for 7 years as a project manager, specializing in collaborative network management and fundraising. Louise was also executive producer for ELLA – Red Latinoamericana de Feminismos, co-created and produced art festivals, networks conferences, mobilization campaigns in different cities of Brazil and Latin America. Learn more about Louise.

Juan Ignacio Conde – Strategy Director

Juan worked as a lawyer in law firms in Latin America for over ten years. He spent another ten years working as a Manager for the Government of the city of Buenos Aires and the Argentinian National Administration. During 2020, he worked as a manager of “Impulso Cultural”, an area of the Culture Ministry in the City of Buenos Aires in charge of processing and managing subsidies for most independent art; helping and giving support in times of Covid-19 in a vulnerable sector. In the University of Buenos Aires he studied a Masters in International Politics and Economics. He specialized in Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Social Enterprises with impact in international developments at NOVA SBE in Carcavelos, Portugal. Learn more about Juan.

Lucero Hernandez Garcia – Social Media Manager

Lucero is an independent journalist and digital communication consultant. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Digital Media with a specialty in Multimedia Production. She is a university professor in digital journalism. She is a workshop facilitator in digital tools, data and visualization, and a collaborator in the web portal of the International Network of Journalists. She received a 2020 scholarship from Cosecha Roja and the Sembramedia Teachers Network. She was also a fellow in 2015 and 2017 of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Camila Silva – Diversity and Inclusion Manager

Brazilian, black woman, activist, touched by Osun and Oyá, driven by disruption, Camila Silva is a journalist, writer and film-maker whose main focus is innovation and equity in media and business. She holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations, Humanitarian Aid and Development. Camila researches D&I inside and outside media and coordinates the Racial Diversity in Communication Program at Nexo. She is a diversity and inclusion consultant at the international NGO Civicus and the D&I manager at Chicas Poderosas.She founded and leads the audiovisual production company Wokemi Produções. Learn more about Camila.

Lucila Cristallo – Program Manager

Lucila is an Audiovisual Designer with +12 years experience in team leadership. She held public positions in the area of entrepreneurs, participated in the design and strategic planning of public policies for the audiovisual sector and the design of the City of Buenos Aires, and was also manager of communications and strategic planning of the innovation area. She is the founder of several feminist projects and is currently a global program manager and member of the Chicas Argentina chapter. Learn more about Lucila.

Raquel Bennet – Membership Manager

Raquel is Brazilian and is a specialist in Public Policies for Equality from FLACSO Argentina and has a degree in International Relations from the University of Brasília, in Brazil. In recent years she has worked with gender issues and their intersectionalities (mainly race and ethnicity) as a researcher, activist and as part of the United Nations team in Brazil. He has experience in project management, external relations and marketing. Learn more about Raquel.

Samanta Leguizamón – Communications Manager

Samanta has a degree in Communication Sciences, a Postgraduate Degree in Digital Journalism and a PhD candidate in Social Sciences. She worked in journalistic writing, strategies and management of social networks and in teaching. She is the Communication Manager for the New Generation of Chicas Poderosas. Learn more about Samanta.


Chicas Poderosas has local communities based in 16 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, México, Perú, Guatemala, Portugal, Spain, United States and Venezuela. 

These chapters are led by two ambassadors in each country, who work together with a team to organize activities, workshops, networking events, and locally represent the organization. Local communities include journalists, designers, communicators, activists, publicists, and other women who work in media and communications in each country. All of these positions are ad-honorem.


Chicas Poderosas’ board of directors supervises the organization’s work and approves its yearly budget.

Nelson Wang: Board Chair

Nelson is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chicas Poderosas. Nelson is a leader with more than 28 years of international experience. He has held various leadership positions in multinational corporations. Nelson is an engineer with an executive international MBA. He is passionate about people, innovation, technology and likes to get involved in social causes.

Elisa Tinsley: Vice President

Elisa is the vice president of the Board of Directors of Chicas Poderosas. Elisa is associate vice president for programs at ICFJ, where she has also overseen global programs since 2013. For seven years, she was director of Knight International Journalism Fellowships, ICFJ’s flagship program. Elisa brings her experience in supervision, finance and leadership in non-profit organizations.

Robert Hernandez: Acting Treasurer

Robert is the acting treasurer of Chicas Poderosas. He is a professor of professional practice at USC Annenberg. He specializes in digital journalism through emerging technologies. His most recent work includes Augmented Reality, Wearables / Google Glass, and Virtual Reality; he and his students produce virtual reality experiences under their brand: JOVRNALISM ™.

Elda Cantú: Board Member

Elda Cantú is the Secretary of the Board of Chicas Poderosas. She is a news editor for Latin America at The New York Times international desk, where she also writes the Spanish-language newsletter El Times. Elda joined the Times last December as deputy editor of NYT Español. As part of that team, she helped manage the daily report, edited notes, and worked at different desks at the Times. Elda she wrote a weekly column for El Comercio on international affairs and taught journalism at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences and international politics at the ESAN University.

Patricia Torres-Burd: Board Member

Patricia is Managing Director of the Media Services Investment Fund for Media Development (MDIF). He has more than 20 years of experience in newsrooms, journalism and the media. He works with organizations, helping them improve audience engagement and business performance with a focus on digital innovation. Previously, she was Vice President of UBC International, where she led consulting projects in the United States, Latin America and Europe. He has held key executive and operational positions on successful news and media project launches in the United States and Europe, focusing on sustainable operations in the areas of news, programming, brand production, and acquisitions.

Monica Bauer: Board Member

Monica Bauer has been vice president of corporate affairs for PepsiCo Latin America since 2015, a region that covers two of the company’s top ten markets around the world, Mexico and Brazil. Monica is a member of the PepsiCo Global Communications Executive Team (CET) and a member of the PepsiCo Latin America Executive Committee. He also leads the LatAm Sustainability working group. In February 2020 he published the book “The power of empowerment. Women Building Latin America ”along with Paula Santilli, CEO of PepsiCo Latin America, and Marty Seldman, executive coach.

Gabriela Manuli: Board Member

Gabriela Manuli is the deputy director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), an association of more than 200 non-profit organizations in 80 countries dedicated to investigative journalism. Born in Argentina, Gabriela Manuli has been a journalist for more than 15 years, working for radio, television, magazines and newspapers. He has extensive international experience in Latin America, Europe and the United States. She currently leads a remote and multicultural team based in more than 12 countries on five continents.

Amanda Zamora: Board Member

Amanda Zamora is co-founder and publisher of The 19th, an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. She has spent nearly two decades at the forefront of digital journalism, working as a reporter, digital producer and editor, product manager, audience strategist and fundraiser. As publisher of The 19th, Amanda leads editorial, product and business operations in pursuit of the nonprofit’s mission to empower women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy. Throughout her career, she has prioritized centering readers with journalism that meets communities where they are. A native of Houston, Texas, Zamora graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 with a journalism degree. 


Chicas Poderosas work is currently supported by Open Society Foundations, Google News Initiative, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United States Department, and Internews.

In the past, Chicas Poderosas has been supported by The Guardian, IDEO, Florida International University, Stanford University, Singularity University, ProPublica, Hivos, The New York Times, the United States Embassy in Mexico, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).


Chicas Poderosas is a non for profit organization registered in the State of California, incorporated in 2017. 

As required by the IRS and State of California, Chicas Poderosas complies with all rules regarding public disclosure of legal and financial tax forms and information. These disclosures include but are not limited to the following:

  • Annual returns for the three previous years, including Forms 990 or 990-EZ, including attachments and supporting documents.
  • Application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status (Form 1023) and all supporting documents.
  • The IRS determination letter stating Chicas Poderosas classification as a public charity.
  • A list of current board members
  • A conflict of interest policy which board and staff review and agree to annually.
  • Fiscal management policies and internal controls.
  • Audited financial statements.

Please see Chicas Poderosas financial transparency documents below. Any requests for further documentation should be made in writing via the website’s contact page. Responses to these types of requests will be handled in a timely manner.