Ingrid van Beek

Women in Tech: Ingrid van Beek

For International Women's Day 2021, we're promoting women we admire in the Umbracosphere 💪

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Written by Chloé Skye

Ingrid van Beek is an Optimization Lead at Umbraco agency Basic Orange in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. An enthusiast of the intersection between coding and design, Ingrid tells us about the importance of personalization, staying true to yourself, and convincing companies to prioritize women in tech for more than one day a year!

Tell us a little about yourself

As an experienced designer, I have a passion for helping companies grow and delivering the best user experience. Over the years, I have worked with various clients, from big corporates to smaller businesses, on both the agency and client side. 

In my role as Optimization Lead at Amsterdam-based Umbraco agency Basic Orange, I help companies and their clients/users achieve their goals, often by using online personalisation to its full potential by addressing the entire process. 

This starts with researching personas and customer journeys and gaining valuable insight into their users’ behaviour, motivations and needs. With more and more companies transitioning to personalised experiences, the online landscape is more exciting than ever. 


What’s your experience with Umbraco? 

I started working with the Umbraco CMS four years ago. During this time, I have both designed websites and applications and edited content. My goal is to always make things as easy as possible and provide the best personal(ised) experience for the end user. (This was what attracted me to work at my current job, the fact that my company is working in the field of personalisation and offering personalised experiences to all users.)

By end user, I mean both the website's users and content managers. If the content managers can’t easily create new content, edit existing content and manage their website, they might simply not do it, resulting in outdated or unusable websites.


When you decided to enter this industry, were you concerned about facing prejudice as a woman? If yes, what were your concerns?

To be honest, no, not really. When I was a student at the art university, most of my classmates were men. I got used to being one of the few women around. At the end of the day, I think we can work well with anyone, as long as you're striving to achieve similar goals.


What do you think would help increase gender diversity in the tech community?

It probably starts with the recruitment of women in tech - and making both tech innovations and application processes more visible to people. Show that it is fun to work in the tech industry and open tech events, conferences and meetups to more women speakers and attendees.

Don’t let it be limited to one day or week but give it more attention during the year; if you make it important it will become important. (Editor’s Note: It’s great advice, Ingrid - we will try!)


Ingrid van Beek

Ingrid van Beek, Optimization Lead at Amsterdam-based Umbraco Agency Basic Orange

What advice would you give to other women looking to make a career move into tech?

Don’t feel intimidated in a - let’s be honest - still mostly male-dominated world. Be confident about your own skills and knowledge, and first and foremost, have fun. 

Stay true to yourself and trust your instinct. Whether coding, UX or marketing, whatever you do, you should feel happy. As one of my former bosses once told me, coding and design skills are a formidable combination. Don’t underestimate yourself or your skills because you are a woman, or let your gender stop you from following your dreams. 


Any barriers you plan to smash in the next five to ten years?

The barrier between design and coding is exactly the one I want to smash! - even though I’ve had my share of coding in the past and these days, I fully focus on designing websites. I still think it is really important to know the basics of coding in order to have a clear understanding of what you are making as well as to communicate it to developers. It is also really handy when you want to accomplish something as a content manager without having a developer at hand. 


What book, TV series, podcast, etc. do you recommend to everyone? (Can be related to tech or not)

I would like to recommend the book Communicating The UX Vision, which can help you with effective communication strategies while you present your designs.

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