What you can learn from a woman designer in a predominantly male area – WAU
In the week that the International Women’s Day is celebrated, we brought the report of our designer UI and UX, Jordana Andrade. Being one of the few women in the team, she told some curiosities about the area of operation and the difficulties she faces as a woman in a predominantly male area.
When thinking about a product team, inside a technology company, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? a group of men, sitting in front of a computer, discussing tools, codes and programs?
Socially, areas like this gain the perception of belonging more to the male than to the female universe. Here at WAU, in our product team, we have few but capable female figures.
With the memory of International Women’s Day and the certainty that good stories need to be told, we brought the story of Jordana Andrade, UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) designer.
Follow us and discover the designer’s journey in the world of technology.
I always liked technology and always wanted to work in the field. I believe that tech area is the future and it can even solve many social and political problems, subjects that I am very interested in.
Developing technologies has been part of human existence since the dawn of mankind and I believe that we can greatly improve everyone’s life by getting deeper and deeper in this area.
I had no encouragement from the family, but I also had no resistance, it was a bit difficult to understand for my mom and dad, but today they like it and are proud when I say that I design user experience.
How it all began
I am graduated in graphic design by the State University of Minas Gerais and I worked for many years in the creative area in several agencies in BH.
I have always liked the area a lot but I always wanted to take care of a product with care, listening and investigating what is best for its user, an opportunity that only a tech company can offer.
Role of UI and UX designer
Here at WAU I am a UI and UX designer. I take care of usability and look of the platform on which our customers and rockers navigate daily.
Investigate usability demands (where it’s difficult to navigate, complicated to find information), research and create new navigation alternatives to be implemented by our team of developers.
My goal is to provide the best experience for all users of the platform, with as little friction and errors as possible!
Predominantly male area to be explored
Unfortunately the area is predominantly male to this day, scenario that has changed, but not with the speed that I would like.
There are interesting initiatives in the area, to teach women from the periphery to code, girls to like logic and mathematics and to have notions of programming and robotics from a very young age, for example, but we still need to walk a lot on this journey to reach the domain of the area that men stop.
Most tech companies have many more men at all levels in their employees, and when it comes to leadership, the sample of women – mainly black – is much smaller or even non-existent.
I like to think every day that I’m here not only to work, support myself and make the best product I can make, but also to pave the way for so many girls and girls who are growing up now and may be the next great genius for an entire generation.
Difficulties of being a woman and acting in this field
We all experience difficulties on a daily basis, because we are underestimated, because we do not believe in our ability to solve problems with mastery or make deliveries that satisfy the need for demand.
I believe we have a long way to go, breaking patterns and stereotypes that have been instilled in us for millennia, since society started to establish itself back there.
The main difficulties for sure are to be seen as assertive and not aggressive.
This is because we women must always be very delicate and polite, and if we leave that role, we are already read as thick or without patience – traits that can be seen as qualities in a man, and overcome the first impression that many men have of us, that we’re just girls and we don’t know much.
These issues are further aggravated in the area if you are not a white woman or belong to other minorities, as if you are neuroatypical for example, then there are women out there overcoming much more barriers than I would ever be able to imagine.
Curiosity about the area that few people know
I always like to tell people – since many still don’t know – two very interesting stories about how women have always been involved in technology and doing their job in an exquisite way.
THE history’s first programmer was a woman, Ada Augusta King, the countess of Lovelace. She wrote the first algorithm to be interpreted by a machine (the algorithm helped Charles Babbage’s analytical machine to compute mathematical functions).
Another very important woman in technology was Hedy Lamarr, who besides being an actress was an inventor and developed a radio interference device to outwit the Nazis during World War II.
This device, in addition to being widely used in the war, was the technological basis that enabled the existence of wireless devices as we know them today, without wires.
Women have always played an important role in the area. From computers – women who computed the data on the huge computing machines, which occupied an entire warehouse (and who today became the tiny computers that we carry everywhere) – we still have a lot to add in this market.
It has already been proven that diversity increases a company’s innovation and earnings and also that Your team’s collective intelligence increases with more women being part of it.
According to a study carried out by McKinsey with more than 1000 companies, in 12 different countries, companies that had a group of employees with greater diversity had better results of profitability and value creation.
In addition, according to research by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, companies with women in leadership positions tend to have better results. This data was reached after analyzing more than 21 thousand companies, from 91 different countries.
Businesses that increased the presence of female leaders by up to 30% saw a 15% increase in profitability.
Although all the data point to the benefits of corporations having gender diversity, the reality is quite different.
In a study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) it was found that the global female labor force rate was 48.5% in 2018 – 26.5 percentage points less than men. Besides that, for every 10 employed men, there are 6 employed women.
Finally, when it comes to management and leadership positions, women continue with few opportunities. As the Peterson Institute for International Economics study pointed out, about 60% of the companies analyzed do not have women on the board, more than 50% do not have female roles at the top of the hierarchy and less than 5% have female CEOs.
More than fads, actions to include and encourage women in market work tend to benefit corporations and consumers.
And, to continue studying on the subject, be sure to check out our content on 11 campaigns for women that make us reflect.