UX, CX and Women in Tech – With Marília Moita | 🎧 Design Aloud

In this episode, we talk to an all-around design leader, Marília Moita. She has an extensive background in Customer Experience and Telecommunications fields, with more than 15 years of experience working both as a designer and researcher, while also leading large teams.

For designers that […] wish to transition to the field of CX, it helps to be a systems thinker in order to design those complex experiences across multiple touchpoints. But I also advise designers not to oversee the business side of the relationship.

Design Aloud Podcast | Season 03 Episode 03

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Episode details

🔍 In our conversation with Marília we discuss her transition from user experience (UX) to customer experience (CX), emphasizing the importance of understanding both end-users and direct customers, and the adoption of systems thinking.

We also talk about the journey and importance of Women in Tech supporting gender diversity and leadership in the tech industry.


This episode was recorded when Marília was still working with TalkDesk, and since then, she has moved to MalwareBytes as the Director of Research and Insights.



Karthik: [00:00:00] Thank you, Marilia, for joining this podcast. I’m quite excited and I was so happy with your enthusiasm when you said yes. I’ve been following you on LinkedIn for quite a while and it’s, it’s great that you’re here now. Let’s kickstart right away.

My first question is if you were a fictional character from a book movie or a TV show, who would you be? Can you introduce to our audience in the style of that character? 

Marilia: Well, this may be very cliche, but as a Star Wars fan, I really appreciate the strong female characters, such as Padme Amidala, General Leia, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Bo Katan. And many others that are featured in the I will not dare to present myself as one of those characters, but I would really like to highlight some common characteristics of these female characters, such as leadership, ability to form [00:01:00] partnerships, work with different allies, and fight for what they believe.

I am only Marília Moita, not a fictional character, a citizen of the world, born in Portugal and living in the beautiful city of Porto. And despite having had many ads for the last 15 years, today I work as a product design director at Talkdesk, but I also sometimes feel like a rebel using my voice to stand for what I believe.

And I believe that design is a powerful force that can change the world. That’s amazing. 

Karthik: What a nice introduction. I’m curious when were you first introduced to Star Wars? How did this influence of Star Wars happen? Especially leadership and women in leadership?

Marilia: Yes. You know, this Star Wars thing was something that goes back to my mother. She really hated the Star Wars saga. [00:02:00] She said she did not understand why a princess should be a fighter. And that really shaped me, you know, that idea that women should be princesses and not fighters. Also not only Star Wars, but also Studio Ghibli, that female characters are important, and they are not only, like, accessories there.

They are not only to be pretty, they are also to be powerful. I think that nowadays we see this. We feel better represented because in design and in the tech field, we are starting to see more leaders. We are starting to see more women represented in jobs in tech jobs and in design leadership.

So that’s the kind of influence I think the Star Wars saga has nowadays, and influenced myself. That’s why I chose this kind of introduction. 

Karthik: That’s amazing. It’s It’s very [00:03:00] mature to think of it this way when somebody’s, especially your mother, who you look up to kind of opposes this and you have a shift of mindset. iIt takes a lot to have that shift of mindset. And I’m glad that you did it.

And I’m glad that I’m having this conversation with you. And the very reason why I’m very much interested in this conversation is because you are a leader because you represent women in tech design and you’ve done a lot of initiatives. So, yeah, thank you. Thank you for this great introduction.

Speaking of first memories: do you remember the first moment when you got introduced to design?  

Marilia: Oh, yes. I remember I got introduced to design in high school. I had a theory of design subject, but I hated it so much that after two classes, I had to switch to sociology because I was more interested in understanding how people behave in societies.[00:04:00] 

Then much, much later, after dropping out from architecture school, I opted to take a more generic course in multimedia and communication technologies, and it was there when I was introduced to the disciplines of ergonomics and usability. That is when I fell in love with design and understood its importance.

Karthik: That’s amazing. And so it, it wasn’t the traditional design sense that you have right now, which is UX UI courses, but a bit more in-depth understanding of users, if I’m not wrong, because we had this sort of courses in India, back, back in India as well. We had a lot of multimedia development and also programming languages, but also had this behavioral way of looking at design. So it’s pretty interesting that it’s run all over the world. And do you remember the first project you were really proud of? [00:05:00] 

Marilia: It’s hard to say a single project that I’m proud of. However, I can tell you about a time I worked as a service designer on a digital transformation project for a major telecommunication company where I had to digitally transform the physical store journey.

The goal was to improve the time to resolution, a simple yet powerful operation metric for the store counter agent receiving. All kinds of tasks from simple tasks like top up the mobile SIM card balance to more complex tasks, like, for example, a customer asking for a triple play service for their smart small company like voice, Internet and television package.

So just to give you an idea. The counter attendants were on their feet for more or less eight to 10 hours a day. They are at a really slow network in the store and they had to use about 14 different [00:06:00] systems in order to gather all data to perform their tasks. So from the time someone arrived at the store to do the most simple task until they left. Sometimes it took more than two hours.

So in terms of concepts, our project was quite simple. It was basically to turn all the journey digital, placing all store attendants with the tablet with a single interface full of integrations with the other 14 systems so that all the information was presented in a seamless layer where all the tasks were performed without needing so many clicks and also the data processing could be done in near real-time.

So we added several iterations to finally get down to a proof of concept, and after building it, we went to perform a pilot in a real store in a time shift that didn’t have much impact on the business, but at the same time, it would get us real data for improvement. So after 10 days of running the pilot, I held a session with all the attendants to present data [00:07:00] and identify opportunities for improvement.

Obviously, all development teams and the vice presidents and presidents are always invited to these sessions. But as this session was more hands on, more focused on the operational level, I was really surprised when half past the meeting started, the vice president of the area entered the room and he ordered me to leave. So he could speak openly with the attendants who had been in the store during the pilot and they could provide their honest opinions.  I was a consultant, not part of the company. So I was quite surprised, I must say. I really wasn’t expecting him to ask me to leave the room.

And I was so shaken that I left the room and I just sat there in a chair in the old room. And yes, I could hear everything that was being said in the room, but let’s just ignore that for a moment – because now I will tell you what [00:08:00] was the most striking moment of my career at the time – So I was sitting there a little bit shaken, wondering if the agents would say that the project was terrible.

But then I heard the most veteran attendant, a person that had been on the counter for the last decade, emotionally telling the vice president, almost in a shaking voice, that he managed to top up a mobile phone for the first time in his life in only 36 seconds in front of a customer. He then proceeded to say that he wanted all his tasks available on the tablet so he wouldn’t have to go back to using all those terrible systems again.

He said he refused to have his mental health drained by a constant software switching and information hopping and the slowness. The rest of the attendees in the room agreed and excitedly gave [00:09:00] their testimonies as well. And when the VP left the room, he congratulated me and said we could proceed to the second phase of the project.

But that didn’t even matter. That wasn’t the point. I was not proud that he approved the project. Well, Maybe a little bit, but mostly, I was proud that my work had made a difference in the lives of those people. At that time, I really felt, you know, this is the way. Sorry, only Mandalorian fans will understand, but anyways, thanks for the question.

Sometimes I like to go back to this moment. To reconnect with my purpose as a designer. And I like to tell other designers about it, especially juniors and also my fellow product managers and engineers about it, so that they realize that sometimes even when they don’t see it or they don’t know it, someone’s life is changing just because we improved something so small as the copy inside the button.[00:10:00] 

And in the end, it will make users more efficient. And yes, I believe ultimately they will be happier performing their jobs. 

Karthik: Absolutely. That is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. And I cannot imagine how you must have felt when the VP said you to leave the room, especially after running that pilot program and having those insights.

And when you’re really excited to share things it must be…it must have been devastating and a lot of things going on your head. And I really must commend the person, the veteran who shared his story because 1.) it motivates the others to share the same thing or a similar thing, or be open about whatever they’re feeling. And 2.) to also sharing how it has impacted that, that’s an amazing feedback to hear as a designer. And when it comes from the people that you’ve been testing [00:11:00] with, it’s an altogether, an amazing feeling. And I’m glad that you had this feeling and it shaped, or like you said, it was a pivotal moment in your career.

So that’s amazing. And was this the way you transitioned into customer experience? Or how did this happen? 

Marilia: Well, in, in reality, I didn’t transition from UX to CX, but let me briefly explain the difference between these two concepts and then I’ll go back to my experience as a designer. So absolutely.

According to the Nielsen and Norman group, which is a UX research and consulting firm founded by the UX pioneers Jacob Nielsen and Don Norman, the concept of user experience, also known as UX, encompasses all aspects of a person’s interaction with a company, its services, and its products. And despite it started as a broad concept, nowadays, people usually refer to UX.

As the experience of a [00:12:00] single touch point, this perspective associates user experience with one interaction or one channel, for example, interacting with a web page or a mobile app in order to do something to escape to this limited perspective, a new term emerged the concept of customer experience, also known as CX and CX has been used to describe the totality of the interactions that the user has with an organization over time. xxx

Now, this encompasses the relationship between a person and a company across that person’s lifetime, and it can have multiple perspectives of analysis, such as the first and structural perspective is related to the level of the interaction, the touch point, the task that the user needs to perform in a given interface.

Most UX designers work at this interaction level: designing the interfaces for websites or applications in order for users to [00:13:00] perform their tasks. So this is why it is considered that UX is part of CX. So inevitably, someone that works in the field of CX.

The second perspective inside CX has to do with the customer journey, which is the end-to-end process that a customer goes through in order to complete the goal. This process may use multiple interactions and multiple channels, meaning that we should be delivering a cohesive look and feel, messaging, tone of voice across all of our customers.All channels across all interactions so that customers consistently feel that they are interacting with the same brand with the same company and also creating seamless cross-channel transitions to allow customers to move effectively between channels over time with the same perceived quality of experience.

And the third perspective, which is my favorite, has to do with the relationship [00:14:00] built across the customer life cycle or, as Nelson Norman Group puts it, the lifetime experience that a person has With an organization and his cumulative impression as a patron of that organization.

So this relationship level means we have to pay attention to the combined experience of researching, buying, using a product, asking for and receiving support, troubleshooting issues, receiving newsletters, paying the service, renewing or upgrading the service, or in the worst case, downgrading or even terminating that service.

And all these through a multiplicity of channels, phone calls, talking with real agents, going to the stores, engaging through the website, chatting with a virtual agent, sending messages through social networks, receiving notifications from mobile apps. Also seeing new offers in a physical magazine and so on and so forth.

And this matrix of interconnected and combined [00:15:00] experiences is why I’ve always been in love with this field of customer experience. I work mostly in the telecommunications sector, complex omnichannel services in which the interaction with the user was not exclusively digital. And I also worked as a service designer for the city of Porto, therefore, I always work for the three layers.

  • The user experience – more focused on interactions.
  • The customer journeys – focusing on consistent channel experiences and
  • The relationship with the customer over time.

Now, I come to understand that designers usually start their careers in the UX layer, designing websites or apps. So, for designers that are listening and wish to transition to the field of CX, it helps to be a systems thinker in order to design those complex experiences across multiple touchpoints. But I [00:16:00] also advise designers not to oversee the business side of the relationship. For designers in the field of CX, it is very important to understand both our end users and their tasks so that we can facilitate their lives, but also our direct customers and their goals and the relationship that needs to be built over time.

Karthik: Amazing. Yeah. I was going to ask you about how an early UX designer can think about these things. And I’m glad that you mentioned this. I was just wondering what skill sets are required for a designer to be customer -centric because it involves, like you said, a system thinking, which involves multiple channels and multiple disciplines.

How does a UX designer go beyond the 1st layer and attack those 2 layers or learn those 2 [00:17:00] layers? Is there, is there any specific method?

Because yeah, just just 1 point before you answer, because I remember a lot of early stage design leaders who went on to join big companies, they always got on calls with customers through customer support, and this helped them understand what the pain points are directly through the customers and how the customer journey can be optimized or developed or enhanced. And this was one way of looking at it, but do you have any other methods where a UX designer can learn about the other 2 levels?

Marilia: Yes. I usually advise junior designers who work mostly in the field of UX, so mostly for the interface part of the journey, I usually advise them not to focus only on the Problem you are solving because the [00:18:00] problem you are solving may be a pixel in a sea of pixels, and you need to see the forest and also need to see the tree, right?

Most people say I will focus on the tree and other people say I will focus on the forest. I say that you need to zoom in and zoom out. To have these systems thinking as all trees are interconnected. And if you can also see one part of the forest and you think it is a tropical forest, but in the end, the far end of the forest, you see it and you think it is an oasis.

So  the forest can be different. You may be narrowing it to some part. So learn to zoom in and zoom out. How can designers do this? Pair with product managers, pair with engineers. Learn to see the world through their [00:19:00] lenses. Learn to understand limitations, technical limitations. Learn to see beyond those limitations.

Be with your customers, fight your bias, fight the assumptions you have because you are too deeply emotionally involved in the interface you are designing or the journey you are proposing, so fight your bias and go where your customers are. See them. Using your products. I don’t like to say walk in their shoes because you will never be able to walk in their shoes because their lives are their lives, and your life is your life, and you will always have your bias.

But be there, listen to them, understand that you are biased. And if designers start by that point, I am biased because I am only seeing a part of the problem or a part of the scope. Designers start there with this question. Thank you. I am biased. And what am I [00:20:00] missing? What am I blocking myself to see if they start with this, they will automatically start to think as a systems thinker: what is beyond what I am seeing, what is interconnected with what I am seeing, and they will step to the level of the customer journey.

And when they are at the level of the customer journey, they will understand it. This is built over time. So, if this is built over time, what is the relationship I want to have with this company? So they will start to the third level,  the level of the relationship. That is, this at least is my perspective on this.

Karthik: I really like the analogy of trees and forest and nature in general. I think it’s a very good perspective. And I also agree with whatever you said about pairing with. Different disciplines this is this, I was just thinking that this is good for, [00:21:00] let’s say, a designer, a single designer who’s working on a product alone by themselves.

Usually in big companies, there are a lot of designers. How does this sort of exploration begin when you have multiple designers working on different things? How do you foster this sort of customer-centric culture or customer-centric mindset or system thinking mindset when there are multiple designers involved solving for the essentially the same problem, but in bits and pieces by themselves. How can this fostering happen? 

Marilia: You need to foster one basic thing that is: information sharing. That’s a problem. Even if you are a single designer working with engineers and product managers, sometimes the information doesn’t flow. Sometimes designers are so [00:22:00] eager with the things they discovered from the customers that they start to provide solutions and design solutions.

They don’t share the knowledge first with their colleagues. And if that happens in a smaller scale that will for sure happen in a larger scale. I call that the group bias. When everyone is in the hamster wheel and they are used to perform those tasks. And They are used so much to the knowledge that they have that they built kind of a wall of bias saying hey, but “once upon a time I observed my customer and customer did things that way so I built this customer journey and this is my truth forever.”

My truth written in stone forever.  As a group of designers constantly build that [00:23:00] relationship every day. Every day. Understand if this still fits with the customer need, because nowadays it’s really fast. All things change, right? With the machine and AI.

So one thing that was true yesterday and you observed it yesterday, but tomorrow you may observe another pattern, another behavior and your solution may not fit. So constantly learn about your users, learn about how they use your products, but share this knowledge with your colleagues. Sharing knowledge, this knowledge with other designers so that the interactions may be improved and may serve the customer in the end so that we do not build this wall of customer journeys that are true forever and We end up with the softwares that no longer serve our customers and that no longer serve us [00:24:00].

So this is the kind of thinking that I always tell my my designers and my teams to have. Don’t believe what was through yesterday and always seek for understanding if this still serves your customer needs. 

Karthik: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s amazing. I totally agree. And I kind of thought a different analogy in terms of life itself.

Since childhood, I feel like we have a lot of beliefs thrown at us. Through parents, through society, through friends, and it becomes so conditioned over the years that you still believe those things when you’re an adult. And I completely agree that one must question every single day, these belief systems and see if it’s actually working for them and see if it can be improved.

So I completely agree with what you said. And speaking of these. Belief systems and changing the patterns or looking at [00:25:00] patterns every day. There must be a lot of limitations in the organization. Like you mentioned before, when you are thinking about customer experience, one must not forget about the business aspect of it.

And I believe that a lot of the design agencies and design teams, in general, have this limitation or constraint of business involved. Can you describe a time when you had to balance the needs of the customer with the limitations of the organization or a team?

Marilia: That’s a very interesting question, and one specific project around inclusion and ethics pops into my mind. One time I was working on a contact center software project, understanding the journey on a specific use case. And there we were with limited and very tight timeframes, just enough to cover the Epipath scenarios, [00:26:00] right?

And through several iteration cycles, meaning months, we implemented all those Epipath scenarios we have agreed on with the customer. And the project went live and users, in this case call center agents, started to use it. And more or less 10 months after the project went live, and with a lot of improvements already in place, of course, I received a very interesting message from someone in our support team asking me to help with this simple customer question.

And the question was, how can I change a user’s name and email? Now, my first reaction was… Why? If it’s a new email, it must be a new user. They can create one in the admin settings. And that’s the problem with bias. That’s the problem with beliefs. I took the assumption that this was someone new, new to the company or new to the job.[00:27:00] 

And in my mind, people don’t just go around and change their identity. So that was just not a valid use case for me. But when the customer requested the meeting and explained that someone on their team changed gender and identity, that, that really hit me in the face. I was the designer of that software and I was the first one.

With bias to suggest that they could create a new user and the person could simply start using the new account and keep the credentials for the your older account if they wish to consult any information there. And that was a problem. That was a problem. The person was not new to the company. She had history and logs and would like to keep them as part of her daily work.

This user, she was not starting fresh. She was continuing her daily tasks. Only she had changed from a male name to a female name. And our software… [00:28:00] And the hit in the face was this, our software was denying her continuity, was invalidating her previous identity, and I will never forget how she shaked my bias when she asked me during a contextual inquiry.

Do I really have the need to hide my previous self and pretend I am a new person? Don’t I have the right of having my full self recognized as the same person that did all those tasks and will continue doing them? I may have changed and may not have the same identity I had yesterday, but am I not the same top performing professional entitled to continue today’s work from where I left it yesterday?

And I can tell you the problem was so hard to solve, but eventually we managed to accommodate the request and even change some of our software processes that were framed as [00:29:00] technically impossible to change, you know, and the message and the message of the story is simple. And very in line with your question.

Sometimes we bypass basic accessibility, basic inclusion, basic human rights, by calling them edge cases. I challenge our listeners to think how many times have our bias worked against us? And how many times did we also refugee ourselves in as in company limitations, or as in… Tech constraints, believing something could not be changed.

Now, if there’s anything that working for this project taught me, is that there is no right for any system to make someone feel excluded, unseen, denied, invalid, and we do that so many times as designers, developers, as [00:30:00] software builders. I believe if there is a will, there is always a way. Sometimes we just need to forcefully and fiercely start with the way to have some people change their wills.

Karthik: Absolutely. Thank you for sharing the story. It definitely has a, has quite an impact in how you shape the design and how the idea of inclusion should be a standard, let’s say, and not an edge case. Like you mentioned, I think it should we should all embed ourselves into this mindset of inclusivity.

And I’m, I’m happy that we are progressing in that direction. And Things are getting better. So, yeah, thank you for sharing the story. And I was just curious because, because this example kind of made me think, especially in a [00:31:00] global diverse environment, when there’s multiple cultures involved, you tend to Exclude something or some person or some idea just because it’s not culturally relevant, or it doesn’t, or you misunderstand the idea because it’s culturally irrelevant to you.

How can, how can, especially as a design leader, how can we foster this idea of being culturally intelligent or understanding different cultures in a more emotional way and accepting those cultures? How 

Marilia: can we do that? I think and narrowing a bit to the customer experience field, I think it is imperative that we build that database of information regarding our customers, you know, database, pure data, no bias, you know, understand their journeys, their needs, their [00:32:00] concerns, their cultures and understand what opportunities we foresee so that we can be one step ahead and deliver them the best tools for them to support their business, even before they feel that gap or that need.

If everyone has access to that information, to that same knowledge, that intelligence about how users use the products, the same problem framings and the same lens regarding the user’s pain points, it should be clear and easy to converge into a path of permanent solutions that include all diversity, all cultural aspects because the information is there.

You cannot ignore it. And when all the company has that shared sense of that same information, that’s when you have customer intelligence supporting your culture maturity growth towards customer centricity. 

Karthik: Absolutely. Yeah, I think [00:33:00] that makes sense. But yeah I feel like it’s not quite that easy to process all these things, but I think that’s the way to go, especially when everybody is involved.

And when everybody is on the same boat, I think it just becomes easier and easier. And yeah speaking of design leadership do you, do you, I mean, you’re a, you’re a very well known design leader and you are very active on LinkedIn. What does this role mean to you? And what’s the path to becoming a design leader?

Marilia: Well, first, thank you. I don’t think I am that well known, but thank you. Well, this may be a surprise, but being a leader was never something I had planned. I didn’t have a defined career path to become a leader. Not least because I always really liked UX research. And most of the time I even liked working alone, collecting and analyzing data in my dark corner.

So… However, I’ve [00:34:00] also always been a person that enjoyed asking questions. I love understanding problems really well, being clear about the direction to take, defining a vision to reach a destination, and understanding how to measure success. which is probably why I was naturally the target of more strategic challenges that prepared me to leave.

So for me, it was more of a seamless step, not a planned one, but it wasn’t a walk in the park and still isn’t today. Yeah. Despite the fact that the strategy and execution of the projects is shared by the team, and the work always must be done in a spirit of learning and collective growth, when you have to make decisions, you are alone.

And when you have an answer for something, you are alone. So being a leader means being prepared to be a loner. And no matter who are at giving the example at communicating, sharing, being [00:35:00] transparent, each person you work with has a unique perspective based on their own beliefs and their limited and biased perception of the world.

So in the end, You may be perceived as as never fully representing everyone, right? So answering your question, how can anyone become a design leader? People need to realize becoming a leader may not be the hard part. What is difficult is cultivating a mindset of constant learning, improvement, collecting feedback and constantly wanting to become better and do better every day.

Finding your purpose of serving others and taking action every day so that your leadership is effective and leads the business. The team and its members towards evolution, growth, fulfillment, and also to joy, right? If there’s no joy, why bother? And, and also, also one [00:36:00] thing that I came to realize is that the context matters a lot.

What the given project or company needs from that leader at that given moment could be very different from what that person should develop at another time or in another context. This to say, it’s not because you are not a very good fit. In a leadership position in one place that will not be a great leader in another context.

For some cases, I think having a mentor inside the organization can really make a difference if someone wishes to accelerate those leadership skills within a given context, and it’s not really being successful. So I think to sum up developing, developing leadership skills depend on many factors.

And in general, I would say that there are three fundamental pillars one needs to work on. The first one, to know yourself. Self awareness, right? Knowing your characteristics so that you can [00:37:00] develop them. Leadership is firstly to work on yourself. That’s something that we usually don’t think about, but that’s something that I came to learn on, on my journey.

The second one. Liking people a lot. You cannot be a leader if you do not like people you need to understand what moves them, their dreams, their aspirations, and also what challenges them and what motivates them. And lastly, and the one that I’m developing more these last years and I think it’s the most important one and they don’t teach us this in leadership courses.

Don’t be afraid to use your voice and show your true self. Most of the times we are following business agendas or even agendas and we are afraid to be our true selves. But if we do this, if we don’t be afraid to use our voice and to show our true selves, it will foster. [00:38:00] Trust and inspire our teams to do the same.

Karthik: Absolutely. And I think that comes along with learning a lot about yourself to be able to understand yourself and voicing that out. That’s, that’s something. Yeah, I totally agree because I realized that. Yes, you have opinions, but expressing those opinions or expressing your voice in a way where it resonates with multitude of people.

I think that’s a, that’s a skill set that is a hallmark of a leader. And I completely resonated with the points of the purpose of serving others. I think that’s a really good point that you made that. Serving others. That should be your primary mindset let go, detach yourself and let go of yourself and start thinking about others.

I think that’s a really good mindset and taking actions. Taking [00:39:00] actions absolutely makes sense because a lot of the times what I’ve noticed is people don’t take that action. Even if it’s wrong, it doesn’t matter. You’re taking that action and you’re owning that. And I think that really matters. And Yeah, you learn along the way and that, that’s how you grow this.

There’s no right or wrong. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Totally agree. And yeah. And speaking of serving others, you started this initiative called women in tech. And do you want to talk about 

Marilia: it? Yes. Well, Talkdesk is a recent company. It has it is a decade old. And as you know statistics show that computer science and engineering are still mostly male dominated fields.

And all trends suggest that it’s, that is beginning to change, not at the pace we would like. This means although women make up nearly half of the workforce, they remain underrepresented in [00:40:00] technology. So tech companies need to reaffirm their commitment to gender diversity, and work even harder than they are doing today to boost this diversity and have women representation.

and leadership. That is why in 2020, aligned to the TalkDesk corporate vision, I helped co found the Women in Tech Employee Resource Group, ERG, as its employee leader. So through connection, mentorship, collaboration, and this So as part of this discussion, we created a participatory experience where members can contribute, learn, and grow.

And we forged partnerships with Women in Technology, the premier professional association for women in technology industry, which offers a broad range of support, programs, and resources to advance women in technology from the classroom to the boardroom. And also, we are partners with Inspiring Girls. An organization dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around the [00:41:00] world by connecting them with female role models.

These partnerships, along with other initiatives that we have, aim to foster the advancement of women’s role in technology. And at TalkDesk, the women in Tech ERG helps to cultivate this inclusive environment that supports and encourages women. And through our partnership, we are trying to bring this from young girls, from young age, for them to break some bias and understand that they have a place in the tech industry.

Karthik: Amazing. What a great initiative. I thank you for that. And for our listeners, is there a way to support this? Or volunteer with this. Can they do something for this initiative? 

Marilia: Oh, inside TalkTest, this is a closed group, but they can participate and be volunteers for women in technology and for inspiring girls.

[00:42:00] In Portugal, we have a new chapter, which is one year old. It’s called Inspiring Girls Portugal. And they can go to these webpages and enroll as volunteers. So this is open to anyone, not only women as volunteers, but also male as volunteers, as allies. This is very important that we have support from everyone in the community, not only…

Women pulling women, but everyone pulling everyone, you know, 

Karthik: absolutely support each other. And I’ll, I’ll share the links in the description. So final thoughts. Do you, do you get into the final section? I’m pretty bummed, but yeah, here we go.

Do you recommend any books or articles or websites that are not designed related that we can get inspired from? Yeah. Like you mentioned, you got inspired from Star Wars to be to have this mindset of a leader, to be, yeah, to be more vocal. Do you have any recommendations [00:43:00] for our listeners? 

Marilia: Yeah, I love books.

That’s not a secret. And in my personal library, I have all types of books that are not design related. I wrote about it in one of my Medium posts. Shameless plug, if you would like to check my Medium user is… @marilia.moita. But anyway, I have a few great books that I can recommend and not by coincidence.

They are all written by amazing women authors. So the first one and my takeaway about this one is about fighting bias. And now women are forgotten or considered the edge cases for some products in the market, and it’s called Invisible Women, Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez.

The second one is about a new wave of leadership and building relationships based on being your true self, and it is called Radical Candor, How to Get What you want by [00:44:00] saying what you mean by Kim Scott, the third book recommendation is about building trust and connection in a digital world, which which is really difficult.

And it is called digital body language, how to build trust and connection, no matter the distance by Erica Dhawan. And the last one is about having all practices, design, engineering, QAs, customers and product people, et cetera, involved in creating customer and business value. And it is called Continuous Discovery Habits Discover Products That Create Customer Value and Business Value by Theresa Tordes.

Karthik: Amazing. Amazing. The only book that I’ve kind of read through that I’m currently reading it’s the Radical Candor book. So yeah, amazing list. I will share these titles and links. Thank you so much for sharing this. Do you have any closing thoughts, Marilia? How was it for you? 

Marilia: I wish to thank you very much for this amazing [00:45:00] interview.

It’s a shame that we are ending, but I also wish to thank all the people at UX Studio for inviting me, inviting me and me and also so many other professionals, incredible people that I love to listen to in this podcast. And I wish to also ask our listeners for a favor. I ask everyone to stop for 30 seconds, only 30 seconds, half a minute, every day, to consciously think about their bias and their beliefs and how they are blocking them from designing solutions that can shape an inclusive world.

What you think transforms in what you believe and what you believe shapes your actions. Please take those 30 seconds per day wisely and focus on your role as a designer that can help change the world. Wow. 

Karthik: What a, what a closing thought. That is amazing. [00:46:00] I will recommend this to our folks in the studio now, right away.

This is an amazing thing. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this 30 seconds. It’s all it takes. Absolutely. Absolutely. 30 seconds every day. Every day. Yes. Yes. Thank you so much, Marilia. I had a, had a really fun conversation. I hope you had to, and our listeners will have a lot of takeaways from this. So thank you so much for joining.

Marilia: Well, thank you. I really enjoyed talking to you. You are very easygoing. This is a very interesting podcast and I hope you have a lot of success. Yes. 

Karthik: Thank you. Thank you so much. 


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Design Aloud

Design Aloud is a podcast hosted by UX studio. Through this podcast, our goal is to spotlight UX and other disciplines that emphasise people and their needs in the realm of design.

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