The 2024 Mujer Tec Award included 18 awards in 11 different categories.
By Rebeca Ruiz | CONECTA NATIONAL NEWS DESK - 03/12/2024 Photo Kevin Chaires, Daniela Iturbe

Outstanding women in various fields such as leadership, innovation, and social impact were recognized with the 2024 Mujer Tec Award in a ceremony held in the Main Hall of the Rector’s Building.

In this edition, 18 awards were presented in 11 categories, and a tribute was paid to Lumi Velázquez, the founder of this award together with her students, who passed away last year.

Inés Sáenz, the Tec’s Vice President for Inclusion, Social Impact, and Sustainability, recognized the winners of this award, now in its 12th year.

“This edition’s winners are remarkable women. I’ve had the good fortune to talk with some of them. Their energy is contagious, and their projects confirm Lumi Velázquez’s wisdom in creating this space.

“Those of us who are part of this community know that things happen here that change us and ultimately transform our environment. Visibility is a necessary action to ensure conditions of equality,” she explained.


Premio Mujer Tec


The legacy of its founder

David Garza, Rector and Executive President of the Tec, spoke about the legacy left by Mujer Tec Award’s creator, Lumi Velázquez.

“This act of recognition, in which we give visibility to the trajectory and talent of women, is the legacy of Lumi (Velázquez).

“We see this award as something that opens spaces for dialogue and reflection and calls for action for more inclusive environments.”


“This act of recognition, in which we give visibility to the trajectory and talent of women, is the legacy of Lumi (Velázquez).” - David Garza.


The following are excerpts from the comments given by the winners upon receiving their awards:

Special Lumi Velázquez pioneer category


- Irma de la Torre Lozano, first female General Director of the Querétaro campus

This chemical engineer was the first female General Director of the Querétaro campus from 2001 to 2007, the first woman in this management position.

I break molds. 23 years ago, I was the first female campus director at Tec de Monterrey. Believe in your ideas, in your power, in the value of empowered women.”


Irma de la Torre Lozano received the Mujer Tec Award in the special Lumi Velázquez pioneer category.
Irma de la Torre


#She4She category


- Natalia Rodríguez Payan, promoter of gender equality in surgery

For two consecutive years, she chaired the student group Women Interested in Surgical Education (WISE), where she organized and coordinated talks, training sessions, research, and mentoring to promote gender equality in the field of medical surgery.

“We’ve historically faced stereotypes that question our capabilities, and medicine hasn’t been exempt from this. I decided to actively become engaged, find answers, and strengthen networks.”




- Team Pink Hawks 6606, empowering with robotics

It is the first robotics team of Mexican girls, from the Tecmilenio Toluca high school, in the international FIRST Robotics Competition.

This global robotics tournament, with regional phases in more than 30 countries, is aimed at students between 14 and 18 years of age.

“We’re the first and only 100 percent female Mexican team to participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition, and we’re working to close the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).



- María Yolanda Burgos, STEM mentoring for women

The Director of the Innovation and Development Engineering Program at Tec de Monterrey has designed and implemented mentoring programs in collaboration with companies such as Pepsico, Corning, and Sintec, and soon with Schlumberger.

“The mentoring programs I participate in are a space conducive to sharing knowledge and experiences and creating bridges for more girls to get to know the STEM world.”



Art and Cultural Management category


- Xi Chen, promotion of Mexican and Latin American art

The EGADE Business School student at the Santa Fe campus has created the portfolio That’s How I Talk to Myself, with paintings that immortalize Mexican and Latin American art in two languages: Chinese and Spanish.

“My aspiration is to be an intermediary to communicate culture. I published my art book in Spanish and Chinese, in which I tell the story of a woman’s career growth in a man’s world.”




- Janeth Aguirre Elizondo, promoting women’s participation in the film industry

She has produced and managed several film projects supported by the Nuevo León Council for Culture and the Arts (CONARTE) and the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE).

“My constant work revolves around transformation until parity in Mexican cinema becomes the norm.”



Citizenship with a gender perspective category


- Dorely Medina Leal, empowering indigenous women

Her initiative, Infancia con raíces (Childhood with roots), seeks to empower indigenous communities and defend women’s rights.

“This award isn’t only for me; it’s for my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and my ancestors, powerful women who dared to make history. I’m a woman, and it’s my duty to continue the fight to show that women are brave, capable, and valuable.”


Dorely Medina. Photo: Daniela Iturbe
Dorely Medina.


- Karina González Carrillo, providing tools and knowledge to women

She organizes forums and fairs that offer tools for empowerment and raising awareness on gender violence.

“I feel inspired and committed to the girls and women who represent more than half of the people with disabilities in Mexico. Without women and girls, our society doesn’t work.”


Karina González. Photo: Daniela Iturbe
Karina González


Sports and Sports Management category


- Arely Montserrat Pérez García, pioneering American Football coach in Mexico

She is the first Mexican coach to be part of the American Football Coaches Association (A.F.C.A.), as well as a speaker for the empowerment of women in sports.

“I’m a Tec woman dedicated in mind, spirit, and soul to my greatest passion: American football. I’m stepping into a field that wasn’t designed for women and girls to step into.”



- Laura Patricia Garza Rendón, aquatic rehabilitation with a social approach

She is the founder of the Aquatic Training Center, where she organizes the Worldwide Aquathon Day event: an aquatic marathon dedicated to supporting social causes.

“Our initiative embraces all women. It’s a space where the past gives way to the power of the present, where pain becomes possibility. We’ve impacted more than a thousand people with this program.”



Entrepreneurship category


- Gabriela Angelina Bernal Ibáñez, sustainable construction

She is the founder of Gama Construction, a world-leading startup in sustainable transition and innovation in construction.

“I’m one of those women who dares to challenge the status quo. Everything has been possible with the support of friends, teachers, family, and my parents.”




- Rocío Garza Gutiérrez, education and inclusion of the deaf in Mexico

She is the co-founder and Director of Dilo en señas (Say It in Sign), a Civil Association founded in 2015 with the purpose of facilitating the education and comprehensive inclusion of deaf people in Mexico.

“Having experienced work inclusion, I realized that deaf people experience exclusion, so we created innovative solutions and fun and inclusive educational experiences.”



Environment category


- Juana Isabel Méndez Garduño, research and promotion of sustainable practices

She won first place in the Doctoral Research Pitch at the 2023 Tec Science Summit for her work in reducing the carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices. She is also a pioneer in promoting Smart Cities and smart communities.

“Only 25% of employees in the energy sector are women. We need to try to increase that percentage and close the gap. I hope to generate solutions through education.”



- Fabiola Doracely Yépez Rincón, climate change mitigation and adaptation

She is a distinguished leader in EOTEC DevNet COP America, where she promotes products that help countries address climate change.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge we face. The disasters it causes are a problem that we need to address with technology to generate the knowledge needed to help governments find solutions.”



Science category


- Marilena Antunes Ricardo, research in biotechnology

She stands out for her work as a researcher in the area of biotechnology. She has published more than 70 scientific articles in top high impact factor journals such as Scopus Q1/Q2.

“There’s still a long way to go. In the area of science, only 38 percent of students are women. If we’re looking for equity, the way to that is to take leadership roles.”




Wellness and Health category


- Rosalinda Ballesteros Valdés, promoting wellness and happiness

She is the Director of Tecmilenio’s Institute of Wellbeing and Happiness Sciences and Wellbeing 360, an event recognized as the most important worldwide in the field of wellbeing.

“Through this award, I would like to recognize all women who despite the biases, the gender gap, and the extra burden are forging a career and generating impact not only for other women but for the world at large.”



Transforming Power category


- Gabriela Gerón Piñón, one of the 100 most influential women leaders in the world

She stands out for her creation of virtual mobility programs and research opportunities in the Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC), benefiting more than 7,000 students.

“I would like this to be an inspiration for other institutions. I work on projects in which I support women entrepreneurs so they have more opportunities in STEM.”



Special Lifetime Achievement category


- María Belén Mendé Fernández, creation of educational companies

She is distinguished for more than 20 years of creating and developing institutions and companies in the field of education.

“We can’t conceive of a world without equity. There’s no democracy, economy, life, or humanity without women, hence our sense of urgency.”


The Mujer Tec Award

The Mujer Tec Award was created 12 years ago by professor Luz María Velázquez as an academic project at the Monterrey campus.

The professor of Ethics and Gender Equity at the School of Humanities and Education started this initiative as an exercise in self and collective recognition of the actions of women within the university community.

The award ceremony was held on March 12, 2024 in the Main Hall of the Rector’s Building on the Monterrey campus as part of International Women’s Day.

The winning women received the Muliere Amet (Latin for “Defiant Woman”) award, inspired by the sculpture Fearless Girl, which reminds us of the importance of gender equality, by artist Kristen Visbal.





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