Part 1: Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google
“There are always challenges when one is a member of a minority, and that is doubled when that minority is not the one which has had the institutionalized power for generations — i.e., sorry yes I have to say it….. men.”
Female-led businesses are more likely to have a mature diversity and inclusion strategy, and are less likely to run into hurdles with senior leadership, according to a survey by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Executive Development. “These organizations are more likely to be satisfied with efforts at creating an inclusive culture, and companies with women in executive leadership roles, especially, are more confident in their ability to continue to foster a diverse culture.”
For us at the UX Collective, it’s pretty simple: when you have someone in a leadership position at your company that really represents you — your gender, cultural background, skin color, beliefs, you name it — , you feel more motivated to move forward (and up) in your career.
For this year’s International Women’s Day, Paula Macedo and I decided to interview some of the most well-known and respected female leaders in UX and HCI, to understand how they have dealt with gender balance (and sometimes inequality) over the course of their careers. Learning from other professionals’ experiences and paths can hopefully inspire a younger generation of designers starting in User Experience just now.
Hope you enjoy the ride.