Welcome Della Sigrest, our September #WCW! Della manages Full STEAM Ahead, a fantastic Richmond program that hosts a day-long educational conference for middle school girls. Ladies that UX Richmond participated this year, and we wanted shine the spotlight on the woman behind it all!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m the eldest in a family with five kids. Growing up I loved spending time with my four younger siblings exploring and tinkering outdoors. I moved to Richmond for my undergrad at VCUarts, and majored in Communication Arts.
What do you do? How did you get involved in the industry?
I wear a couple of different hats: I work with a local nonprofit organization, CodeVA, both as a graphic designer and program manager. My program is called Full STEAM Ahead: we’re a conference dedicated to empowering young women through Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. We inspire our students by connecting them with female role models in engaging hands-on workshops. This year was our program’s second year running. I’m looking forward to expanding our program and increasing access for more girls around the area.
I got involved both through my formal education and personal interest in the power of arts integration and women’s studies.
How do you define UX in your role?
When setting up our website, forms, and application processes, I have to keep the user experience in the forefront of my mind. If your website is difficult to navigate or if a process is unclear, that becomes a barrier to girls, parents, and teachers interested in the program.
What’s your favorite part of your job? Least favorite part?
I love the creative freedom my job affords me- I hate feeling nervous before the day of the event!
What is your biggest piece of advice for other women in technology?
Keep going! You are an example to the next generation of girls in tech, STEM, and STEAM alike. Kids pay attention, you never know who you may inspire.
What brought you to Richmond? What do you love about RVA?
I love that Richmond is a city that values creativity.
A big thanks to Della for participating and leading an inspiring initiative like Full STEAM Ahead! LTUX ran a workshop at the conference that introduced UX as a potential career path for the middle school attendees. We posed a problem and asked them to solve it with technology! We were truly impressed by the enthusiasm, creativity, and team work we saw. Check out some photos from the workshop below: