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June 15, 2020
189: Why are there so few women in design leadership?

In this episode of Design Life we ask the question why are there so few women in design leadership? When Femke tweeted recently wondering why there is a disparity between men and women in design leadership, the replies showed this message resonated with a lot of people. In this episode we discuss why female design leaders are the exception rather than the rule, and what can women, and men, do about it.

key takeaways

02.38 – Black Lives Matter
11.40 – Female role models in leadership
14.00 – How to be a better ally
19.20 – Don’t underestimate the power of good leadership

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By becoming aware of systemic sexism in the tech industry we can begin to move past it. If you are working in a company that does not have leadership role models that you can identify with, it becomes difficult to imagine your promotion to the next level.

It is important that peers and people in leadership roles are an ally to their female colleagues. Praise the work of your peers to their managers. Don’t wait for a performance review to share how hard they worked or their valuable contribution to the team.

Talk openly about your pay, both as men and women. Talking about your pay may highlight a disparity but don’t assume that your female colleagues are being paid less. Be brave, take the lead on it and offer up the honest numbers. Don’t wait for a female colleague to ask what you’re being paid, reach out and offer the information.

Share with your peers when you’re going for promotion. Let your peers know this is something you’re working on. They might have advice or offer to endorse your work when the time comes.

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