Mara Lecocq

Making girl nerds feel badass


Photography by Dondre Green

Digital Creative Director / Co-Author

Mara Lecocq is a digital advertising creative director in New York where she has often been the only female in leadership meetings. Mara wanted to change that so she recently took a break in her career to help solve the problem of diversity in technology and leadership. She rallied a group of partners and with the help of the Girlboss Foundation, they created Secret Code, a personalized children’s book that stars your girl as a tech hero. The book can be customized with a child’s name, ethnicity, hair color and even eye color to help young girls envision themselves as the heroes of their own story.


Being half French and half Filipino, Secret Code is the book Mara always wanted growing up because she never saw a children’s book that celebrated young girls of color who were badass and not just a princess in need of saving. Her goal is to offer little girls of all ethnicities relatable role models they can be inspired by: themselves.



This was my neighbor’s python Rosie. She was my favorite pet. She would shed her skin and I would hang it in my room and classroom as decoration. My teachers were like “Hmmm, charming!” and that would crack me up. I think I’ve always wanted to do the opposite of what people expected from me. Girls hate snakes? I love snakes! People think girls hate math? I love math! I think that’s why I’ve never felt being held back by any stereotypes.

Kids Guitar


This is a kid electric guitar I used for my launch video. I have no idea how to play an instrument. I just really loved rock when I was a kid. I was very attracted to Slash from Guns & Roses. But not as a girl being attracted to a man, but a girl wanting to be that man. I never felt any gender barriers. I always saw people more as spiritual entities rather than defined by their color, age or gender.


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I just launched an innovative children’s book 3 weeks ago, because I hate a lot of children’s books. I never related to stories about entitled white princesses frolicking in forests, even as a kid. I was raised in a big city loving computers and adrenaline. Why are there still no fun tech stories with badass girls, like Acid Burn in Hackers? 😉 So I decided to make one – the 5-year-old version.

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Barbie Rapper


This was my favorite Barbie. She loved rap and had edge. I believe your childhood influences who you become, whether it’s a logical continuation or a reaction to it. The character design I came up with for Secret Code was totally influenced by her. Black leather and pink accents. Cute and fun but also badass.

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spray bottle


Every morning I wake up by spraying my face in bed. I don’t know why people get freaked out about it, it’s the best feeling ever! BUY ONE NOW. 😉

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Painting of my dad


This is a painting I did of my dad. You see that drawing on the top right? He drew me when I was 5 years old. 25 years later, I wanted to return the favor. I love and owe him so much. He’s so smart, humble and different. He’s the one to introduce me to technology when I was a baby in the 80s, he made me love math, philosophy, introduced me to music like Metallica, Kraftwerk and Philip Glass when I was not even 5 years old, he taught me to be independent. “Papa, what does this mean?” “Get a dictionary. Find it yourself.” My parents taught me to be independent–and I wish all the girls to have that opportunity.


 photo of Mom


My mom was a total feminist. Just look at her posture and leather pants. We loved each other SO much. She was always so proud of me cause I was a cool girl with straight As–until I hit high school, and I started being more interested in Cyberspace, parties and boys. Our relationship became a bit tense, and I could feel she thought it was her fault I wasn’t stellar at school during that time. She died when I was 17. I feel like my drive today has something to do with it. It’s like I want to prove to her she didn’t fail her job as a mom. I wonder if it will ever stop.


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