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Celebrating International Womxn of Tech & Design ft. Rodica Marvan-Harrison @ Onyx Advisory

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IWD2021, womxnintech


How can we proactively make a change to achieve equality and inclusion in tech? It's International Women's Day in March and Orbis are dedicating the entire month to celebrating the womxn of Tech and Design. If we want more womxn in tech, we have to do more than want. Our team felt we needed to share stories from the industry, told by voices with first-hand experience. All of the exposure International Women's Day kicks up is critical, not just for our own education as a business, but also to support the exposure of gender equality and inclusion in tech. These stories are not told by a company or PR, or any other bias perspective. These are the real womxn of tech shaking up the industry. 


Hi Rodica, what has your personal career journey into the tech industry been like?

I come from a more traditional product design background and fell into UX design when searching for my university placement. It took me 8 months of applying to hundreds of companies before I finally secured my first role.

In my career, I have worked on a broad range of projects within financial services. As such, the vast majority of my projects involve working with complex data and expert or highly specialised users. I've also worked in a range of companies including a small agency, a large agency, a global investment bank and now a boutique firm. In my current role as Lead UX/UI Designer, I am working on digitising and democratising the oil swaps market.

What do you think leaders could do to help support gender equality within their teams?

I’m fortunate to have worked at companies that support gender equality and there are a few things they have done that I believe work particularly well. The first is evaluating performance fairly. Having established evaluation frameworks can help remove any sort of bias one might have and ensure all team members are rewarded based on their performance. It’s also really important to give team members recognition. That not only gives that person a boost but it also puts a spotlight on an individuals performance and can help them achieve more opportunities by increasing their visibility to the wider team.

Widening that point, how can businesses adapt to ensure they are enhancing women with their careers?

From a business point of view, I think it’s really important to be able to support the various challenges that might be experienced by women in the workplace. For example, supporting women during pregnancy and maternity leave and ensuring they can return to their current role is incredibly important. That feeling of support and trust is key in retaining women in the workplace.


What are your top 3 tips for women looking to break into tech and design, or progress from their current position into a more senior role?

  1. Try and find as many opportunities as possible that can help you transition into leadership, whether that be inside or outside your role and company.
  2. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Sometimes that is easier said than done but speaking up empowers others to do the same.
  3. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something. I’ve found there is always someone willing to help and it helps you continue to grow.

In tribute to IWD’s 2021 campaign, what do you choose to challenge?

I choose to challenge by celebrating the achievements of others.




Fancy joining the discussion?

Orbis Connect are hosting various events dedicated to IWD and womxn in tech across March 2021.

Please join us. 

Sign up here