Marketing and Design Skills Help Emma Lawler Empower Women Around The Globe

Marketing and Design Skills Help Emma Lawler Empower Women Around The Globe

Written by Emma Lawler and WWCode HQ

Member Reflections

Emma Lawler graduated from the University of Colorado in 2012 with a degree in Advertising, Spanish, and International Media. Understanding that she would need to acquire more technical expertise in order to achieve her goals, she then enrolled in a graduate program known as BDW, which emphasized project based learning, while teaching user experience, design, and some coding. She had worked on some of her own personal web design projects in the past, but this curriculum honed her skills, giving her the perspective to think about problems more programmatically.

From there, her professional career led her to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she acquired a position as a designer, first for AKQA, and then for the prestigious startup FitStar. Along the way she’s faced daunting challenges, including the gender gap that exists in this industry. However, she’s enjoyed the experience overall, and is proud of how she has grown to meet each new trial. In her own words: “There is never a day that you will be perfect at your job. But that's what makes it so fun and exciting – you get to learn all the time.”

She’s also received a lot of support from the members of Women Who Code. In her current position she is the only technical female, and only one of four women working on the team. This can make it harder for her to find role models that she can turn to for guidance and advice. The WWCode community has filled this gap for her, providing her with mentorship opportunities and awareness of the many women working toward similar goals.

Her interaction with WWCode has also galvanized Emma to start her own side project called Kubmo with an associate she met while still in school. This organization partners with non-profits in third world countries in order to help teach local women how to make use of technology. They’ve already seen a significant impact from their efforts, and are currently working on a program in Cuzco, Peru, in order to teach technology skills to young women in the area.

Emma’s goal is to continue growing these side projects, while also focusing more on teaching technical skills, as she believes careers in these fields can give women the greatest number of options for their lives. She also dreams of one day starting her own company where she is the designer or the lead of a team of designers. When asked what advice she had for young women thinking about entering the industry she said, “Know what you want in your career, and don't give up.”