Laura Gomez: silicon crusader.

Author:Jordan, Judi

MAKE WAY, stubborn obstacles of diversity in tech: Laura Gomez, founder/CEO of Atipica, has breached the portals of Silicon Valley's upper strata with her brainchild; a venture-backed data and machine learning startup for the talent lifecycle. Decoded, Atipica quantifies the benefits of diversity through highly sophisticated data. Gomez is shattering glass ceilings and kicking down doors with A.I., titanium tenacity, and a heart full of joy. This is Laura's world. She speaks the language of "the Valley," and they are finally listening.

In the tech game it's unquestionably a race about who's first to the party--and to the finish line. It can be a slog, but for the intrepid Gomez it was a destiny moment. In 2014, she seized the diversity baton that no one else seemed willing to grasp--and ran with it. A hard-core techie, Gomez proposed using predictive data cases analysis to drive home the point for diversity of Latinos in tech. Gomez's nerdy but nice approach to the dearth of diversity captured the interest of thought leaders.

Timing was right but it wasn't easy. Gomez asserts, "I always say it takes ten years of work to look like an overnight success; I make sure that everyone who works with me knows that." However, Atipica was an idea for which the execution was overdue, and Gomez was the apt choice to lead the effort.

"A lot of joy comes from this business, and as a Latina it's another intersection, and I'm a woman," she said. "It's also very joyful; I learn every day. It's not about me. I don't think of the success of Laura Gomez; I think it's a milestone for other Latinos. For them to see that I could have a mission-driven start up."

Gomez obviously feels she has a responsibility.

"I care deeply in our DNA about diversity in our community; that I can build a successful business. I think that's really important," she added. "I'm a California immigrant from Mexico. I was undocumented until I went to Berkeley. It's important to understand immigration reform ... a lot of entrepreneurs come here from different countries to pursue their dreams."

Initially, like many crusaders in the making, Gomez wasn't quite convinced of her special powers until others made her aware of her potential. Gomez came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child; her mother's health issues drove them north, but destiny planted their roots where her nascent intellect got the boost and encouragement that propelled her toward success.

"Through high school I had great teachers...

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