Project Description

Rachel Simpson

Design Lead, Google

Rachel is a Senior Designer who has worked with award-winning Design Agencies, ground-breaking Startups, and on teams at Google since 2013 (Chrome, Search, Duo). Clients and collaborators include Seth Godin, BMW/DriveNow, and Doctors without Borders. She has led 20+ Design Sprints, driving organizational change with Doctors Without Borders, and transforming translation in Chrome. She co-founded the first German version of the Maker Faire, and founded Design Jam (

Speaking at the conference

Monday, September 27, 9:15-10:00 am PST

Designing for Gender Equity

When companies create gender neutral products, ‘neutral’ can sometimes skew male. Smartphones are sized for larger hands, voice recognition is optimized for deeper voices and content offered for stereotypically masculine interests – all with the intent of being designed for the average person. Given this, it’s no surprise that more men are online than women in two thirds of the world’s countries. How might we bring more female users on board to drive growth? At Google, Nithya Sambasivan, Garen Checkley, and Taylor Marable led foundational research which delved into the barriers to Gender Equity online. Google Go, a new internet app for emerging markets, explored product solutions to some of those barriers. Rachel tells the story of this work, exploring our assumptions about privacy and content, sharing examples of products that have succeeded and stumbled in this space, and looking at the role cultural perception plays in adoption.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding of the global gender gap, and the underlying themes contributing to it.
  • Case studies where failing to think about women’s needs negatively impacted the product, and where serving specific user needs created a better experience for all.
  • Understanding of core principles for designing with gender equity in mind.
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