Meet the female makers of Clue
Our CEO and co-founder is a woman, and more than half of the team at Clue are women. We’re proud to be part of a diverse team of people working together — and we know how important it is for the tech industry to close the gender gap that still exists today.
We spoke with some of the female developers, designers and data scientists at Clue to learn more about their own inspirations and advice for young girls who want to get into tech:
Julia, iOS Developer
Why Clue? I wanted to work on a meaningful product that solves real-world problems, something that makes life a little bit easier for the people that use it. I also specifically wanted to join an early stage startup because I find it incredibly exciting to be part of the journey and to see a company grow and mature, including all the small and big wins and fails. :) When I joined the company 3 years ago, it was just me and the 4 founders and now we’re over 40 people. It’s been a pretty fun ride so far!
What inspired you to start coding? I was always pretty good with computers and teaching myself to use software. I played around with HTML a bit when I was about 14 and built my own embarrassing website. :) But I didn’t really learn how to code until I took a coding class at university. I was a bit nervous about starting my studies in computer science because I’m not the classic nerd type and I thought there was no way I could catch up with all the whiz kids that have already been coding for years. But somehow I had a feeling that I would be good at it, and most of all that it would be something that I would enjoy doing, and that turned out to be true. I like building stuff and I like being challenged with new problems every day.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? Never allow yourself to think that you’re not smart enough. Coding is not some secret superpower that you’re born with, it’s a skill like any other that you can learn and get better at as you gain experience. Some basic understanding of math is helpful, but you don’t have to be a genius to become a good coder.
Favorite icon in Clue: Hangover.
Omosola, Full Stack Software Engineer
Why Clue? I really like Clue’s mission and I enjoyed the opportunity to use my skills to address problems that seemed real world to me. Health, disease, fertility, pregnancy, education, etc. I’m excited for the possibilities.
What inspired you to start coding? Coding is amazing for a number of reasons. It allows you to be the builder, and I’m a DoItYourself kind of person, so that’s amazing. I don’t have to wait around for people to make the things that I want to see. Also, it’s a “tool” field, so you don’t have to pick one interest and stick with it. You can apply it to build cool things for music, art, design, language, the environment, health, social justice, almost anything and everything that interests you.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? Find good, supportive people around you, who want to see you grow and develop. No haters need apply. :) Then pick projects that are interesting to you and that you will use when you are learning. Building something you actually care about makes it so much easier to deal with difficulties or frustrations while developing. It also makes you much happier and prouder of the final project.
Favorite icon in Clue: Productive.
Lydia, Lead Screen Designer
Why Clue? Clue appealed me because the app focuses on people in a genuine way. By designing for Clue, I feel I can actually help at my level to make things move forward, raise awareness and empower people. It’s extremely motivating. Clue also convey values, such as inclusivity and equality, which I strongly believe in.
What inspired you to start coding/designing? What inspired me to start UX/UI design is the user-centric dimension of the discipline.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? Believe in yourself and learn by yourself if needed. It’s a market in constant evolution and you will always have the opportunity to improve and gain new skills.
Favorite icon in Clue: Good skin.
Tina Egolf, VP Product
Why Clue? I’m thrilled to work with a product that has the potential to create such an enormous impact in the world. There are a growing number of apps and software tools out there, but not a lot of them actually have the potential to be used by half the world’s population.
What inspired you to start coding? I believe to be a good product manager you need to have at least some experience in all the disciplines related to developing a digital product: Research, design, coding, business development, analytics etc. And I really love the sense of achievement I get from coding: Turning an idea into something “tangible” that can be used by other people is very rewarding.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? “Coding” can mean so many different things. Even if some aspects of coding don’t seem right for you, don’t give up and explore the areas and the work environments that make you feel excited. Being able to code is going to be an important skill for the majority of jobs in the future. Even if you don’t want to work as a software developer, knowing how to build a website or a small app will be valuable on many different levels.
Favorite icon in Clue: Bad hair.
Caro, Senior Product Designer
Why Clue? I first started using Clue to track relations between my cycle and my training sessions. I then learnt more about the company and their approach to design via the company blog, which was very interesting. And when I saw that Clue was looking for a product designer, I knew I had to apply!
What inspired you to start coding/designing? Early on in my career as a designer, I realized that I had a preference for designing products. Products such as Clue have the power to deeply impact people’s lives in terms of improving their health or making their lives easier.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? There’s so much need for better design, as digital products become a bigger part of our lives. You can take almost any product and improve on it. The great thing is that you don’t need much to get started: you can start with sketches on a pad.
Favorite icon in Clue: Productive.
Katrin, Leading Communication Designer (or Art Director)
Why Clue? For a graphic designer it’s rare to find a job where you’re not trying to sell people things they don’t need. At Clue I feel like I’m helping to put something into the world, which might make it a little bit better and bring things forward in science and healthcare and by giving people a tool which makes their lives easier, happier or more fulfilled.
What inspired you to start coding/designing? My parents’ pharmacy: I was fascinated by all the colored packaging. I urged my parents to let me price the products and every Saturday I would dust them off (and place them neatly back on the shelf again). By the age of 6 I knew before my parents if any of the product packaging had been updated (at least my parents made me feel like they hadn’t noticed before me). As I grew older I realized that if I wanted to be the one to design product packaging I needed to study communication design, so I started searching for somewhere to study.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? At the “Berufsfindungstag” or careers day at my high school, one of the officials told me that out of my village (700 inhabitants in the middle of Germany) I would have neither the chance to study in this field nor the opportunity to ever find a job. I continued reading everything I could find about it and asked all the older people I knew whether they could help me (there was no easy access to internet in 1995). A (now) friend who was already studying design, helped me find my way to the design school in Hamburg, where we studied together. Don’t let people tell you what’s possible and what’s not, you will find the way, even if it’s unconventional.
Favorite icon in Clue: PMS.
Sarah, Director of Application Development
Why Clue? I enjoy the challenge of introducing and organizing engineering & design processes, efficiencies and best practices — sounds weird, but it’s super fun for me! My path crossed with Clue a couple weeks after landing in Berlin and I really liked the company and Clue’s mission. Turned out to be a great match!
What inspired you to start coding/designing? Back in 1999, I was sick of waiting tables and realized I didn’t like political science, which is what my degree was in. Since I had always been intrigued by computers, I decided to teach myself to code and loved it. The rest is history.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? If you like it, then just do it! This is an amazing time to be getting into coding with so many readily available online resources, tutorials, programming languages, dev groups, meetups, hacking weekends, the list goes on and on… There is really nothing that can stop you!
Favorite icon in Clue: The cocktail one.
Marija, Data Scientist
Why Clue? Even before I started working here I fell in love with Clue because they were tackling a meaningful problem in a scientific way, while being thoughtful and respectful of their users. I kept a close eye on their jobs page and when I saw they were looking for their first data scientist, I knew I had to apply!
What inspired you to start coding/designing? In my first programming courses in elementary school and high school I found coding to be easy and very much along the lines of how my brain worked, but coding itself didn’t have much attraction for me — I was in love with astronomy. Then during my PhD in astrophysics, writing code was how I analyzed large amounts of data I was working with. When I switched careers I realized that “data is data is data,” whether on galaxies or menstrual cycles, and the way you approach a problem and ask questions about and with the data remained the same. Even now, coding for me is mostly a means to an end, a tool to solve a problem I am interested in answering.
Any advice for young girls who want to start coding? Go for it! In terms of availability of online resources, it seems like there has never been a better time to get into coding. It is a very wide subject area though, so stepping into something new where there’s a lot to learn can feel overwhelming and intimidating at times, but try not to let that discourage you. Impostor syndrome is real and has been shown to be more prevalent among women, so finding a supportive environment is very important. I find the Hacker School social rules to be incredible at capturing what that environment looks like and recommend i) keeping them in your mind and rereading them often, and ii) surrounding yourself with people who (consciously or not) subscribe to these rules.
Favorite icon in Clue: Oily (skin).