This August, it’s six whole years since Ladies that UX started. And it was in Manchester, home of Talk UX 19 that the story began
We’ll be celebrating with the Manchester chapter’s social on the 20th (and do join us if you can). But how did it all begin? How does co-founder Lizzie feel, reflecting on what Ladies that UX has become? And what does it mean to the women involved across the world?
Lizzie tells us, “Georgie and I started Ladies that UX because, at the time, we didn’t know any other women in the industry. We wanted to see who else was out there and be able to just talk to them instead of going to meetups where someone stood at the front and told you what to do and how to do it.”
“When I was first introduced to Ladies that UX as an attendee, it was such a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. I loved that it was a community just for women to support each other. And I felt that I had finally found a group where I could actually get to know people instead of feeling overwhelmed.”
Organiser, New York
From humble beginnings – a small group of women going for a burger in Manchester one August evening in 2013, has grown a global movement that creates a welcoming, transparent community of women that work in UX, who positively promote and teach each other.
“When I heard about a supportive and inspiring group of women gathering together in an industry dominated by men, I thought, ‘This is exactly what I need’”
And it’s that notion of support and teaching that we love. You don’t have to be in UX to come to Ladies that UX. You can be in a related profession and just looking to learn. Or hoping to get into UX and building your network.
“Confidence and a sense of belonging from relating to whatever challenge someone else is facing, or a goal they’ve accomplished”
Each city runs slightly different events, and each group decides what they want to get out of their get-togethers. Sometimes there’s a speaker or a theme, sometimes it’s about eating, drinking, and seeing where the conversation goes.
“It has been a lot of fun! A way to geek out in an informal way with smart ladies”
The one thing we can guarantee is that you won’t feel pressurised to present. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and if you want help with a particular UX challenge, you’ll find plenty of willing problem-solvers.
“Realising that there are a ton of great female designers out there, and that we’re all starting to come together to show the world our talents!”
Lizzie says “Since starting Ladies that UX we’ve gone from having 12 women sat around a dinner table, to around 55 cities running monthly meet-ups around the world.”
She continues “The industry has changed and we’re seeing more and more women in the field. I think, collectively, all the STEM women in tech groups have played a big part in bringing about this change and I’d like to think Ladies that UX has had a role too.”
“A lot of great advice from experienced professionals, also mentors for my career”
That’s not to say it’s been easy building the movement we know and love. Lizzie reflects, “I am so proud of where Ladies that UX has got to, it’s not been an easy journey and we’ve had our struggles along the way but I have these moments of realisation when I see pictures from all the individual chapters on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s humbling to see women around the world building up the sisterhood, supporting and promoting each other.”
“Getting to know a community of like-minded women in my city”
Lizzie is typically humble when asked to consider the success of the Ladies that UX movement “At Ladies that UX we don’t measure success by the size of our groups, but the impact on the community that we have. Over the years we’ve received some amazing quotes.”
We couldn’t resist peppering some of our favourites throughout!
“Encouragement and support from other women. The gratitude from those who are seeking help within the industry – it’s just a really great feeling”