Continuing with our Women in Tech series for International Women’s History Month, in this post we’re celebrating 5 women in UX/UI design who are not only accomplished in their careers but are also working hard to get others a seat at the table.
We’ve chosen 5 women from all over the world who are paying it forward in different ways including creating fellowships, UX communities, and trainings aimed at helping others get into the field of UX design.
1. Karen Santos
Photo Description: Portrait of Karen Santos. Source: startups.com
She is best known for founding UX para Minas Pretas (UXMP), which in Portuguese means “UX for Black Girls”. UXMP is an Edtech company dedicated to providing training, career development opportunities, and community support to Black women interested in entering the design and user experience industries.
Karen is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and before founding UXMP she worked in the industry as a product designer. While working, she realized that there was a severe lack of representation in UX, saying “it didn't make any sense to me to see an area that studies the experience of people in online platforms having no diversity at all.” (Source).
Since its founding in 2018, UXMP has helped over 2000 Black and indigenous women and provided over 900 scholarships to the community.
2. Mariam Braimah
Photo Description: Maraiam Braimah talking on a microphone for an audience. Photo Credits: techcabal.com
After graduating from Harvard University, Mariam got her start as a product designer in 2013. Only three years later, she landed her current role as a product designer at Netflix where she works to develop the global non-member user experience.
In 2018, she founded the Kimoyo Fellowship as a way to share knowledge, ideas, and experiences between African companies and fellows in Silicon Valley, California. The fellowship provides a formal design program to teach the foundational skills needed to become an entry-level product designer.
In their inaugural 2020 cohort, they awarded five fellows from Nigeria the opportunity to be trained by lead designers from top tech companies such as Netflix, Flutterwave, Twitter, Oculus, Lyft, and Paystack. Fellows worked to provide design solutions to Netflix’s growth team in Nigeria.
3. Omobolanle Banwo Osadolo
Photo Description: Portrait of Omobolanle Banwo Osadolo. Photo Credits: tfdmovement.com
Omobolanle is a brand identity designer/design advocate from Lagos, Nigeria. She writes in her website biography, “I’m driven with the desire to increase opportunity & access for people who wish to do meaningful work in technology & design.”
This desire to lift others up and expand access is what inspired her to found the Female Designer Movement initiative in 2018. They provide free training sessions to women in Nigeria to teach them skills in graphic design.
The Female Designer Movement has already trained over 3000 women across Nigeria and plans to train over 50,000 more.
4. Lizzie Dyson
Photo Description: Portrait of Lizzie Dyson. Photo Credits: ladiesthatux.com/about/
Another woman who was moved to make a change in the UX industry’s lack of representation is Lizzie Dyson. In 2013, she and a friend started the group Ladies that UX in Manchester, UK. They both noticed that mid-level and senior roles in the industry had a serious lack of women to look to for guidance, and they decided to create the community and support that it was lacking.
On the Ladies that UX website they write, “In a sector with a high proportion of men in it, Ladies that UX is all about giving women the chance to meet up to support each other, push the UX boundaries, and promote female skill and talent.”
Now 10 years after that first meeting in the UK, Ladies that UX has grown to have local meet-up groups all over the world in over 90 cities across 6 continents.
5. Claudia Cafeo
Photo Description: Photo of Claudia Cafeo. Photo Credits: linkedin.com/in/claudiacafeo
Another more recent UX community dedicated to reducing the gender gap in the tech industry was started in 2021 by Claudia Cafeo. She started the Floxies Community to give members the ability to support each other in their Design and Webflow Development Careers through knowledge sharing, weekly meetings, and building relationships.
Claudia works as a freelance UX Designer but continues to expand and grow the Floxies community as a community manager. With over 1350 members in just one year, this community is sure to keep growing and helping build the UX community.
Jumpstarting your UX/UI Design Career
As you can see, there is a worldwide UX/UI community out there to offer their support. If you’re considering making a career switch, you can start learning the technical skills with Code Lab Academy’s full-time or part-time UX/UI design bootcamps. Once you start building up your portfolio, you’ll soon be able to land your first job and be a part of this exciting industry.
If you’re interested in learning more about CLA’s bootcamps, get in touch with us by booking a call with us. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you determine if our bootcamp is the right fit for you.
We also host Free Workshops every month ranging from discussions and teaching around hot topics in the tech field to practical career advice. Sign up to get an idea of what learning with us might be like.