Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

International Women’s Day 2023

Every March we celebrate International Women’s Day with events and pledges etc.

This year I hosted a panel of some of my Colleagues who talked about their experiences and journey so far at work.

It was a well attended and interesting event and I know lots of people said they found it inspiring.

But there is still so much to do to really make women equal. Here are a couple of examples to show you what I mean.

A few years ago when I worked on an e-commerce site I was sitting in a meeting where the (mostly male) team were talking through the new design for a product page.

It did look good but there was one thing I couldn’t help but notice that no one else seemed to see. Even though we sold products for both male and female sports people the page only showed guys.

I pointed it out and the page was amended but it shouldn’t have got to the stage it did without it being picked up.

Then only a week ago, I was trying to put a pair of trainers on eBay. I have sold lots of things on eBay and never really had a problem, but this time I actually had to use the chat to get my shoes listed.

Even though I had said in the title they were women’s running shoes the system insisted they were male and wouldn’t give me an option to put them in the female ‘department’. And without adding a department I couldn’t list them. But the only options I had were male or teen, neither of which was correct.

Again here is a system which has been set up without really thinking about what people might actually want to do. Anyone can run, so running shoes can be either male or female.

This might not seem like much but it’s these everyday inconveniences that are really what equality is all about. Until these sorts of issues are sorted there will still be work to do.

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