Rachel BrownAlison Wood
It’s no secret that gender bias in the workplace needs to be continually addressed. Research has shown that the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry is down to factors like lack of awareness, support, and role models.
So, in celebration of International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month, we’re hosting a series of open discussions with some of our engineering team to understand this bias, and the steps that individuals and businesses can take to address it.
This week, we spoke to our frontend developer, Alison Wood, who has been part of the xDesign team for just under a year, to learn more about her journey into the profession and her views on gender bias in the workplace.
Firstly, what interested you about a career in engineering?
I studied Maths at university which really complimented my problem solving mentality, but I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated. I knew nothing about coding at the time and it wasn’t until my brother started studying Computer Science at university that I became aware of it - he described one of his projects to me and I immediately wanted to know more, so I started looking into it. I quickly learned how fast paced and ever-changing the tech industry is, so there’s always something new to learn, which I found really exciting (and still do).
Why is it important to break gender bias in the industry?
People from different backgrounds bring different perspectives and ideas which leads to more meaningful conversations, and it enables companies to create products that take everyone into consideration rather than just one area of society. Including women in the process of building products creates a greater user experience and ultimately better results for the company.
How can workplaces support balancing the scales?
Company culture is so important for this, creating an environment where everyone in the team has equal say and feels comfortable sharing their opinions without being judged. I think the hiring process is also really important - meeting other females in the team can give an indication of what it’s like to work at the company and can also be less intimidating for the candidate.
What advice would you give to women considering careers in engineering?
Go for it! It can be such a rewarding career with lots of opportunities. If there’s a company you’re interested in working for then I’d encourage you to reach out to people working there, especially women, for advice on what the company culture is like. That goes for women in the industry in general: we all want to see more women join the engineering profession so many of us will be happy to have a conversation and answer any questions you have (especially those of us at xDesign!).
We have a fantastic and diverse team working together at xDesign. Find out how you can join the team by viewing our open roles.