Katie Dill: She’s Lyfting Your User Experience

January 12 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: A Welcoming Work Environment

There are plenty of ways to make a workplace more inclusive. Spoiler alert: Throwing beanbag chairs and a juice bar into the mix isn’t one of them. For women, no matter how many Luna bars you toss our way, we won’t back down from demanding our real needs at work. Equal pay, flexibility, safety and plain old gratitude go a long way. Today, ladies, don’t shy away from telling your employer exactly what changes need to be made to ensure your office is a welcoming place for female employees, clients and visitors.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: More Than Twice

When your workplace is mobile and employees spend their time working independently, it can be difficult to make sure inclusion is a priority. Take ride-sharing services, for instance. If you’ve ever utilized such a service, think about who your drivers were. Were any of them women? The chances are slim. According to Forbes, only about 14 percent of drivers in the United States employed by ride-sharing service Uber are women. Uber’s key competitor, Lyft, has made a greater effort to recruit women, employing more than twice the number of female drivers than Uber.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Katie Dill, Vice President of Design for Lyft

Today’s Woman to Watch is Katie Dill, one of the high-ranking folks at Lyft, who was recently hired as the company’s vice president of design.

Though we’re thrilled to see a woman in this role, Katie got the gig thanks to her years of design and corporate experience. In her new position with Lyft, Katie has an array of responsibilities, including overseeing user experiences. She cares about whether you feel safe in a Lyft vehicle, whether you’re the driver or the passenger. And considering Lyft’s recent growth, that’s a lot of responsibility on Katie’s shoulders. At the beginning of 2017, only about half of Americans had access to Lyft, but by the end of the year, the service was available in 95 percent of the country.

Katie knows a lot about user experience. She was previously the director of experience design for Airbnb, where part of her job involved connecting hosts and guests, and growing the company while ensuring a travel-concierge style of service for customers. She also expanded the user-experience team tenfold, from 10 to 100 employees. It was a natural fit for Katie to drive over to Lyft, as both businesses focus on hospitality. And considering Lyft recently secured a $1 billion private investment from Google, it was the perfect time for Lyft to beef up its expertise with such a hire.

Katie is keenly resourceful, an attribute that’s dominated her character since childhood. When Katie was just 9 years old, she and her sister would chop wood to make forts, and even helped build an extension onto the family home. She spent much of her childhood experiencing the world around her through working with her hands. Talk about user experience! While studying history in college, she was drawn to the field of industrial design, and later got on the corporate track, working for several design-focused companies.

Of course, working in design means more than designing products. Katie says design is what propels business strategies and team development. And it’s the driving force that makes a Lyft ride easy and enjoyable versus cumbersome and daunting.

Katie has learned a lot of lessons in her time in the corporate world, including that, in an ever-evolving business environment, nothing is final. The world changes constantly, but as Katie says, designers “have an unbelievable ability to not only institute new change, to improve, but to roll with that change.”

QUITE THE QUOTE

Want to drive your career to higher heights? Take this advice from Oprah Winfrey:

“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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