Be inspired by web designer Laura Kalbag
We spoke to Web Designer, Laura Kalbag about her experience of being a woman in the technology industry.
What do you think of the current representation of women within the tech industry?
“I think women, and any other diversity that’s not the stereotypical straight white man, are massively underrepresented in web design. Unfortunately I think it can be a self perpetuating problem too. There aren’t many women in the technology sector, so women assume it’s generally not friendly towards women. This isn’t always the case. There are particular areas of the tech industry that are rife with discrimination problems, but there are also many wonderful, supportive communities that are dedicated to diversity.”
How do you perceive the professional landscape for women in technology at this current time?
“Women in technology have a lot of opportunities in the professional landscape. Many of the skill areas which have developed with a greater uptake by women, such as content strategy, copywriting and illustration, are showing their huge value on the web and in the technology sector.
This is having a positive impact on the amount of women in the industry and is most visible by how many women are attending community events. Generally, companies and potential clients are also starting to open their eyes to the benefits of a more diverse team.”
Do you believe we need to encourage more women into tech roles?
“Absolutely. Women have equally strong business voices, and are as capable of being leaders, as men. Given the amount of evidence that diverse teams are far more innovative, it’s a wonder more women aren’t leading in the technology sector.”
As we go through a significant period of digital transformation, do you think we’re communicating as a society through technology?
“As a society, I think we’re fairly good at adapting and making use of technology for communication. The key is being flexible, and understanding which technologies are most appropriate for different types of communication and relationships. However, as technology evolves, we have a problem with the speed of communication. People value quick communication over quality communication, we have less patience and a false sense of urgency.”
What excites you about technology currently?
“The thing that is becoming more and more exciting is how much anyone can achieve on the web with a low barrier to entry. I love that the web is a universal platform, allowing people to share anything they want, relatively unhindered by a lack of knowledge or experience.”
Who inspires you?
“Anyone with enthusiasm and a belief in their work inspires me. It’s the different motivations we have, and how deeply we care, that make our work meaningful. When I was starting out in web design, it was the strong women such as Molly Holzschlag and Rachel Andrew who showed me that women could do great work and make a difference in the web community.”
What would your top three tips be for any budding entrepreneurs out there?
“Firstly, enjoy what you do – if you’re going to spend all your time working on something, it should be something you love. That way you’ll never struggle to get up and get to work in the morning.
“Secondly, stay healthy – if you work for yourself, and especially if you work from home, you need to look after yourself. You’re the only one that’s there to do the work, and it’s easy to slip into bad habits when your kitchen and sofa are a few seconds away.
“And lastly, be flexible – the tech industry moves so quickly that your skills will become irrelevant if you don’t keep learning. It’s likely that the job you’ll be doing in five year’s time doesn’t exist yet, so keep your eyes and mind open to new technologies.”