Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration.

Being a woman in tech & advice to those looking to break into the industry

Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration. By Ruth Ross-Macdonald, Head of Product and Design for CareScribe 

Hi, I’m Ruth, I’m Head of Product & Design for CareScribe, an accessibility tech company based in Bristol. We specialise in assistive technology, helping to level the playing field for people with disabilities. 

It’s one of those jobs, that when your family asks what you do, and you answer, you can see their eyes glaze over and they have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. My role basically bridges the gap between design, engineering, the customers and the business objectives.  

I’ve had a hugely varied career, starting out as a graphic design graduate, my first role was designing branding and packaging. I moved on to designing for web and mobile apps then, for a short while, I even went off and became an interior designer for a small stint! I then moved back into freelancing in digital design and landed back in the software industry. I’ve taken a slight sidestep from design into a product ownership role and then into a leadership role as Head of Product and Design.

The more I work in tech the more I hear the same things, people hear the word tech, and they associate it with coding or ‘computers’ in general, discarding it as a potential sector to work in which is so sad, there are so many great opportunities that people and women, in general, are missing out on because of this.

If you’d asked me when I started out in my career, I probably would have had a similar response as most people, that working in software is this strange unknown world, of mainly male developers writing code, with their head in a computer, in a dark room and not a lot else. But what I didn’t realise back then is that there are so many varied roles inside of tech that aren’t code-based.  

Code is written for real people, people like you or me, people with learning difficulties, people with disabilities, people who are short, people who are tall, people of all genders. We create software to make people’s lives easier, so in order to make great digital products that will enhance the day-to-day life of our users or assist real people with the things that they need to do, we have to understand the whole range of different types of people as well as have a range of different types of people inside of our team. 

Software teams need to be diverse, so our decision-making isn’t biased. It’s very common for women to be underrepresented in software teams, in leadership roles and in engineering. And it’s something that is so important, to close not only the gender bias but also address the lack of diversity in tech companies.  

The tech industry is a very well-paid industry, where there is a multitude of opportunities, where you can find jobs that can truly improve people’s lives, and you don’t have to have a computer science degree to break into the industry or get the job. My advice to anyone out there, especially women, don’t ever think that something is not for you go and give it a go, be curious, ask many many questions, get involved in meet ups and networking groups, break down those barriers and misconceptions because you might find yourself in a truly amazing sector working with some truly amazing people. 

Ruth Ross-MacdonaldAbout the author

Ruth Ross-Macdonald is Head of Product & Design for CareScribe, an assistive tech company based in Bristol which specialises in creating products that level the playing field and make the world more accessible. Ruth has a passion for human-centred design and has experience in multiple design disciplines such as UX and UI, Branding Design & Consultancy, and Product Management.

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