CEO of Respira Labs chosen as finalist in 2018 Women Tech Founders

The 2018 Women Tech Founders named Dr. Maria Artunduaga, a founder in health and biotech, as one of its finalists. It is a national competition that awards women in technology with inspiring missions. Women Tech founders hopes to inspire, advance, and connect female tech leaders and equalize the power of a male-dominated industry.

Women Tech Founders stated, “We have reached a crisis point. Girls are not pursuing STEM studies, and those in STEM careers are not staying long. While the issues are complex; there are limited role models for our young girls; there is limited mentoring and sponsoring for STEM women…” 

Dr. Artunduaga is honored to have been named a finalist and help make sustainable impact. In an interview with Citris on how to become an effective female founder, Dr. Artunduaga shares tips on confronting challenges while enjoying the journey, getting out of comfort zones to learn, acknowledging personal strengths and weaknesses, and overcoming fears. 

She encourages females to apply to jobs regardless of whether or not they possess 100% of the requirements. Take any opportunity possible and represent women! “Throughout my life, many people have told me that I couldn’t excel and look where I am now! When someone says you can’t—go for it and prove them wrong!” says Dr. Artunduaga.

Hard work pays off. Dr. Maria Artunduaga is of Colombian roots, which affects her perspectives to various degrees. Typically, women in Colombia don’t argue with men who are their seniors. It took Dr. Artunduaga over 15 years to assimilate to American culture. Having a strong Spanish accent increased her challenges in the industry because people were not used to having an educated Latina in the same room. Thus, she signed up for accent-reduction classes and practiced and recorded her speeches in front of a mirror before every pitch. “Communication is key for a CEO . . . I’ve had to make a conscious effort to keep my statements clear and concise,” says the founder of Respira Labs. 

Of course, Dr. Maria Artunduaga has more statements to make when it comes to representing women in the industry! Read more about the interview here: https://citris-uc.org/how-to-become-an-effective-female-founder/.

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