Introducing Camila Diaz — Design Manager for the Platform Product Design Team at Farfetch
Camila will be joining us as a panellist for our Top Of Her Game discussion.
A little about Camila
I’m a Product Designer and Manager with over a decade of experience; originally from Colombia, I have worked in the U.K., Spain and Australia, collaborating with software development companies, digital agencies, large enterprise clients and government institutions, helping them craft user-centered elegant products as well as recruiting and coaching Product Design teams.
On a personal level, I consider myself to be a highly self-motivated individual who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty to get the job done. I believe my strengths lie in my keen and curious nature; I am always out learning new things and exploring new adventures. What can I say? I have endless amounts of energy.
We’d love to hear about your accomplishments. What are you most proud of?
This is a really hard question to answer. I am a person who lives very much in the present, any time I’m asked what my favorite project, job, country I’ve lived in is, I will tell you is my current one.
On that note, I guess the one thing I’m the most proud of currently is to be living in the exact way I’ve always wanted to live; I am living in this really cool city, working a job I love, surrounded by people who push me and inspire me. I got all this because of decisions and sacrifices I’ve made, having designed my own life is what I’m most proud of.
How do you align your personal motivations with your long-term career goals?
At the risk of sounding cliché, I am more focused on the journey and not so much on the destination. I have changed my career many times over (5 that I can count) so having a rough idea of where north is with a loose plan of how to get there has worked better as a strategy.
I am an incredibly ambitious person who is always looking for ways to stretch myself, there are 2 things that need to exist in order for me to be a 100% motivated:
1. I always need to be learning and 2. I need to be happy. I have left jobs in the past where I was happy and that offered good ladder climbing opportunities because I felt I wasn’t learning as much and when I am not challenged, my mind starts drifting away. Likewise, I’ve left places that didn’t have a good corporate culture or good team dynamics.
Sustaining a good balance of these two is ultimately the goal for me, not achieving a particular place or roles, those are just tools to get to what I care about.
What invisible barriers can some women face when progressing in their career, and what steps can they take to overcome and prepare for these?
Besides everything we already know, gender pay gap, raising families, most company C-levels are a boys club, there is one invisible barrier that is actually under our control: Women don’t take enough risks.
While scanning through a pile of job descriptions a while ago, there were two that caught my eye posted by a company I will not name. What was interesting about them is that they were for 2 different levels (Manager and Director) but they both had the exact same description. Intrigued by this, I reached out and they confided in me that the Manager role was really the Director position but they were struggling to find female applicants and had opened a role that was ‘less daunting’ but every application was routed to the Director role.
Being sensible is part of our nature but is not doing us any favours in the workforce. It is a known fact that a woman will read a job description and not apply to a job if there are 2 boxes out of 10 that they don’t tick, where as men will apply if they only tick a couple.
So, start applying to jobs even if you don’t feel you tick all the boxes, you may actually be the best candidate. At your current job, taking risks means raising your hand to take stretch assignments, putting yourself out of your comfort zone and as soon as it starts feeling easy, looking for the next thing that doesn’t.
When building your career, what is the hardest lesson you had to learn, but are the most thankful for?
Don’t do it for the money but always ask for more!
Money shouldn’t be the reason you take a job, I would never take a job that makes me unhappy merely for a financial reward.
I’ve been fortunate to land in jobs I have loved doing, I’ve even taken a pay cut once or twice for jobs that would pose a new or interesting challenge.
Self-fulfilment and growth are very important to me and I’ve never stayed at a job that drained my soul. However, I’ve always been really excited and said yes! to the first offer to later find out that some of my colleagues were making more for doing the same job.
Recruiting designers for different teams, has exposed to the way different candidates negotiate for themselves, there are major differences in the way men and women negotiate. Men almost without exception, always ask for more, many even overreach; in the case of women, the one asking for more is the exception.
If experience has taught me anything is that you don’t have to sacrifice one in favour of the other and that there are ways that you can have both. Next time you have an offer on the table, ask for more, the worst that can happen is that they’ll say no, usually everyone says yes within reason, specially in our industry.
Camila will be part of our panel, hosted at the Trainline “Top of her game — Career advice from seriously impressive professionals.”