We continue our blog series featuring women at Exadel who have led successful STEM careers. We are proud to say that a large percentage of our employees are women (39 percent) and will continue to find and support women who are pursuing careers in STEM. As the industry calls for more STEM-focused women, we are pleased to honor those who work for Exadel and share pieces from their professional journeys.
Today’s Q&A features Mary Frances Czarsty, Senior UX/UI Designer.
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I was inspired to pursue STEM because I liked that it is both a practical and creative career path.
How do you use agile development in your daily work?
Agile makes as much sense for design as it does for development. I find it allows me to be more creative and test more ideas quickly, rather than the old waterfall model of pinning all your hopes on a design done in a vacuum at the start of the project.
How would you describe your experience in the STEM field? What has motivated you to stay on this career path?
I have ten years of front-end, UX research and design experience. No two projects are ever the same, but getting to bring lessons learned from previous projects into the next one is always satisfying. Also, having metrics that clearly indicate the success of a design is always a great feeling!
What is your advice to women who are looking to start a career in STEM?
Don’t be intimidated by the lack of women in the room. You belong here.
What challenges or roadblocks have you faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?
I found out at a previous job that junior, male developers at the company were making more than I was—even though I had five more years of front-end development and design experience at that point.
It can also be difficult for UX to even be considered “STEM” at all. Often, people will dismiss design as something fluffy rather than as something crucial for people to use software effectively.
Sometimes it feels like you have to fight harder to get what you deserve—and sometimes that’s true. Don’t be afraid to do it.
Mary’s message is all about being fearless and knowing that you belong even if you are under-represented at your job. She offers a great message to women coming up in their STEM careers to stick with it and refuse to be intimidated.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Exadel. We encourage women looking for careers in STEM to check out our job listings and apply: https://exadel.com/about/careers/