SFDW ‘16 Recap: A Conversation on Leadership, Diversity and Design

In case you missed the event, you can find a recap video and summary below

Last year, SocioFabrica had the pleasure of bringing five female design leaders and entrepreneurs together for a conversation on empowering other women in a male-dominated design industry for San Francisco Design Week. In front of more than 75 members of San Francisco’s design community, the panelists shared tactics for overcoming subtle gender biases and how they closed the confidence gap as they forged their careers. Some of the most poignant takeaways from the panel discussion include:

Reframe failure

Iteration is integral to the design process, requiring us to work through and learn from failure. However, failure in our careers and our lives can be paralyzing. We have to reframe failure as an opportunity for surprise success by accepting it as a critical part of growth as a person as much as it is as a designer.

Quiet your inner critic

Many women suffer from a lack of confidence and impostor syndrome. Our internal doubt is one of our biggest obstacles. Sufficient preparation and experience can help, but conquering self-doubt is an internal process we all have to work on. “Don’t be afraid to own your own achievements and pave your own way,” said Yuliya Gorlovetsky, Mozilla’s creative director and one of our SFDW panelists, when asked how female designs can find their confidence.

Have a community to rely on

When the going gets tough and you might feel overwhelmed, it is crucial to have a support network of peers that can provide advice grounded in experience. This network is particularly for women, who regularly experience a work-life balancing act while trying to evolve as leaders in their fields. It can get quite lonely, and having a community to rely on can help you gain the necessary know-how to overcome similar challenges is integral to ongoing success.

After the discussion, many members of San Francisco’s design community reached out for mentorship help and career advice, citing many of the same challenges experienced by our panelists, prompting us to rethink and re approach how we could be a source of inspiration, support and empowerment. In response to such incredible demand, SocioFabrica and our SFDW panelists are in the process of creating a series of inclusive networking happy hours and creative mornings for 2017.