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March is Women’s History Month – a time to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements across different careers and spheres of life.
Now more than ever, women are forging paths in a variety of once male-dominated fields, including ad tech. These trailblazers are sparking conversations around critical issues to the empowerment of women at work, including opening doors and access for women early in their careers so they can progress to C-suite, supporting women to choose and stay with STEM careers, and helping women achieve a work-life balance.
This month at Cadent, we’re profiling women who are leaders in their departments, asking about their career journeys, the importance of Women’s History Month, and what advice they would give to women entering the workforce.
Nawal Kabir, a UX Designer, has been a part of our team for just 6 months but has already immersed herself in Cadent’s company culture! After graduating from Hunter College, Nawal initially pursued a career in teaching. However, after a few years and a 10-week UX bootcamp, she shifted gears and began working in user experience design. When she’s not at work, you can catch Nawal focusing on her side hustle, creating paintings and prints.
To learn more about Nawal, check out our Q&A below.
The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed.
Tell us about your role.
As a User Experience Designer, I’m focused on all aspects of Cadent’s products’ development, including research, usability, functionality, and visual design. This can mean either working on feature integrations for existing products or building out new products while working with fellow designers, product managers, and developers to ensure our end users are having the best experience while using Cadent’s products.
Where can we find you when you’re not at work?
I love taking time to do little things that bring me a lot of joy, so you would either find me painting, working on setting up my online art shop to sell my paintings and art prints, catching up on my never-ending list of books I want to read or at brunch with my friends! I also love visiting museums and art galleries.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month is so important to me because it allows us all to take time to recognize, highlight and celebrate the achievements of women across time and space. I think it’s especially important to do this in the tech space where women are underrepresented and I love that Cadent is amplifying women’s voices and experiences during this month through their blog posts, speaker events, and showcasing examples of female leadership at Cadent!
Are there any resources you have found valuable while building your career?
I transitioned into tech from teaching after attending the User Experience bootcamp at General Assembly, so for me, they were the biggest resource as I landed my first contract role through my GA connections. The design peers I met through GA were a huge source of help for me as well since everyone looked out for each other when it came to job-hunting or fixing our portfolios. I would also highly recommend using LinkedIn to reach out to people in the field to learn more about their experiences and build connections and utilize online resources such as courses on Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, etc., to learn more about UX. This is a bit untraditional, but one thing that really helped me tackle the start of my UX career was watching various UX Designers on YouTube & applying their advice to my own experience.
What advice do you have for women starting out in a STEM role?
My biggest advice for women starting out in STEM roles would be to believe in themselves and their abilities! The fact that you’re in the room means you’re qualified to be there so there’s no need to second-guess yourself. Oftentimes I’ve seen women fall prey to imposter syndrome when they’re just starting out (and even when they’re not starting out) but it’s so crucial to have confidence in yourself, and it’s also important to find the right balance between being confident and being open to feedback. I’ve found that being receptive to feedback always leads to growth.