TechSesh Spotlight: Hagit Kaufman, VP of Brand and Design at Wix
Drum roll, please…
Introducing the incredible Hagit Kaufman, Vice President of Brand and Design at Wix.com, who is leading an international team in order to equalize the tech space by hiring female designers. Currently, 65% of her team are women. Kaufman is an incredible role model and thought-leader who aims to eliminate gender disparity in the tech industry.
During our interview, we talk about the key to building your own voice and brand as well as the best advice she has to offer to the other up and coming entrepreneurs — but it doesn’t stop there. Check out the interview below:
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Hagit, a mother of 3, and in charge of design and brand at Wix.com. I live in Tel Aviv, the city that never stops and neither do I. I’m always busy, taking the time to do arts and crafts with my kids, hitting the beach for TRX and decorating cakes for birthdays and special events. Since I was young, I’ve always had a passion for art. In fact, you could say that design runs through my veins - I live and breathe new trends, and am fascinated by the pairing of design and technology.
What’s an important leadership skill that doesn’t get talked about enough?
As a manager, I’d say that one of the most important things you can do is give everyone the opportunity to shine. We have design workshops twice a month in which all Wix designers gets a shot to showcase their work, learn and stand out, no matter how much or how little experience they have.
How are nontraditional career paths into tech helping build tech diversity and making communities better?
I came into tech by chance: some of my friends asked for my help and I found myself sucked into the amazing world of technology. I didn’t have the traditional skills that usually come with the position. However, this was actually a blessing as I was able to come up with creative and non-traditional solutions to common design problems. And that’s something I firmly believe improves our communities. When you have people from different backgrounds come together, you can build a diverse team that comes up with amazing creative ideas.
Can people really be successful in tech without a traditional education?
Of course. Everyone in this industry brings something unique to the table. For some, it’s traditional training and theory. For others it’s a different perspective or abstract thinking. This is part of what makes top tech companies so successful.
What are some of the things that hold women back during their careers? Especially if they decide to pivot mid-career?
Limitations exist for anyone, regardless of gender. Throughout my career, I had to become a multi-tasker, since I am a full-time employee, a mom, a wife and about 1,000 other things. When it comes to developing a successful career, I really believe that some of the best tools women have are determination and the ability to multitask.
What are one or two words of advice that you have for women with nontraditional careers, or who are considering making a change?
Don’t be afraid to fulfill your dream. If you have something you’re passionate about - chase it. My advice: learn, learn and learn some more. Meet anyone you know who can help you get more information about your field of interest, read books, watch TED talks and be sure you build as much knowledge as you can.
What is the key to building your own voice and brand?
First and foremost, determine your values. Your values are an indicator of your personality type and that will help you understand your voice and tone. Once you know what they are, then build yourself a website, so you can share who you are with the world. :)
What are you most proud of?
The way I manage my time. I make sure I’m investing as many hours as I can in my family life and my career. I’m blessed with 3 beautiful kids and a wonderful husband, plus I love going to work every morning.
For people who are just starting out, what is some advice you can give them about creating a website?
The first thing you should do is strategize: make sure you know what is your website’s purpose, your target market and define your brand identity. Once you’ve done that, get started by picking a template. You’ll find hundreds of templates on Wix for any type of business, large or small. Then, customize to make it your own, add your images, text and share.
What’s the worst piece of advice you have ever received?
To settle in order to avoid conflict. I think it’s important to keep pushing boundaries and to keep reaching for your goals. There are a lot of people out there who will say that it’s more important to keep the peace. I disagree.
How did Karlie Kloss get involved in Wix? Also, any future partnerships that we should look out for?
Karlie Kloss is an entrepreneur with a passion for technology and enabling creativity. So she’s a perfect fit for our brand. She’s an advocate for young women in tech through her KODE WITH KLOSSY program that empowers young girls by teaching them to code.. So we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Karlie and help her bring her vision to life. We can’t say too much about our future partnerships, but there are really exciting projects in the works.
What are some of the latest trends that are vital to creating a successful website?
It’s very important to have a powerful and stunning website. A site is much more than just visuals so make sure that it works for you to make managing your business a lot easier. Some of today’s biggest trends are to incorporate rich visual content such as photos and videos into your site. A lot of people are visual learners so video is incredibly important when it comes to communicating with the public. You can share videos, incorporate them into your background, use them to highlight products being sold.
Is it important for everyone to have a website in order to brand themselves? Is design as important as technology? Is having a website the new resume?
Absolutely. Your website is your online persona: it’s an amazing and easy way for people to get to know you or your business and what you have to offer. As for the importance of design, I think it goes hand-in-hand with technology. These days, it’s so important that your site not only looks good online, but that you also have the right tools to achieve your business or personal goals. So whether you’re creating a website for your business, to show off your portfolio or just to blog about your dog, make sure it’s one that you will be proud to show off to the world.
What's your favorite quote?
"Enjoy the little things in life. Because one day you will look back, and realize they were the big things." -Kurt Vonnegut
Connect with Hagit:
Design Blog: http://highondesign.wix.com/
Wix Blog: https://www.wix.com/blog/